Representing an entire nation isn't easy, but fewer than 30 people are doing just that for Brazil at BEA. Most of the group is authors, who hope that their 2012 efforts to raise awareness of Brazil's rich literary environment will pay off in subsequent years—with the goal of becoming BEA's Global Market Forum country.
"The main objective is to show everyone that we have quality in our work and in our books," says Marcos Linhares, an author whose Crime in the Heart of Brazil was just translated into English and published by Thesaurus Editora. Last year, Linhares got together with nine other authors and approached Thesaurus with the translation idea; after paying for translation and publication costs out of their own pockets, the authors are now at BEA with the product of their efforts, making connections for future years. "The idea is to come every year with better, larger participation," Linhares says.
The world's fifth-largest country can be represented by so few people because their enthusiasm carries as much weight as a force twice as large. Brazil's publishing industry, currently burgeoned by a translation grant last year from the National Library, is increasing its efforts to expand overseas. BEA attendee Literarte, a Brazilian publisher, has representatives in eight countries; Linhares reported that 15 different booksellers approached him about carrying his book in their stores.
Brazil could ask for no better envoys in its first year at the show, and already the results are starting to show. The authors reported high traffic and high interest in their books. Said Linhares, "It's been wonderful. Better even than we expected."