Graça Aranha: Canaã (Canaan)

The latest addition to my website is Graça Aranha‘s Canaã (Canaan). We initially follow two German immigrants to Brazil who are looking to buy a plot and grow coffee. The two, however, are very different. Milkau is eager to enjoy the New World and keen on nature, while Lentz still very much feels that European civilisation is superior and has the right to exploit what he considers a primitive country and people. Despite their differences, they remain friends and business partners. Later in the book, however, we meet Mary, daughter of German immigrants but born in Brazil. Her father dies before she is born and her mother works as a servant. Mary also becomes a servant in the family, when her mother dies. However, when she becomes pregnant by the grandson of the patriarch and the patriarch, her protector, dies she is thrown out. Things go from bad to worse for her, despite Milkau’s help. At the same time, we also see the Brazilian legal system in action, a totally corrupt system, of which Mary is one of the victims. This is a Brazilian classic, as much for the important themes it deals with as with the quality of the writing,

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