A Death in Brazil, Peter Robb, 2004. Robb interweaves his 400-year history of Brazil with stories from his own experiences living there over two decades.
Dom Casmurro, Macado de Assis, 1899. This magic surrealist work told through the eyes of a betrayed husband is in the cannon of great Latin American literature.
Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon (Gabriela, Cravo e Canela), Jorge Amado, 1954. Among the best works of this beloved Brazilian author, Gabriela is a love story set in a 1920s coffee plantation town facing the onslaught of modernity.
Brazil, John Updike, 1984. A black boy from São Paulo slums and a white, wealthy Carioca fall in love and escape to Brazil’s western frontier in this surrealist novel.
How to Be a Carioca, Priscilla Ann Goslin, 1992. Humorous look at Rio by a long-time resident.
City of God (Cidade de Deus), Fernando Meirelles, 2002. Toy boys from Rio slums take different paths in this violent, but magnetic story: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer.
City of Men (Cidade dos Homens), Paulo Morelli, 2007. A gripping movie about two teenage boys caught up in the drug wars of the favelas.
Central Station (Central do Brasil), Walter Salles, 1998. In this Golden Globe winner for best foreign film, an elderly lady who writes letters for illiterate people accompanies a poor boy searching for his father.
Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro), Marcel Camus, 1959. This Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film recounts the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, in the slums of Rio during Carnaval.
Rio, Carlos Saldanha, 2011. This popular animated film about a macaw from Minnesota who winds up in Rio features wonderfully depicted cityscapes and melodic Brazilian tunes.