Saga of Brutes draws together three confronting and darkly stories: “Between Dog Fights and Pig Slaughter,” “The Dirty Work of Others,” and “carbo animalis,” published in one volume for the first time. Ana Paula Maia’s no-holds-barred narrative pulls few punches, describing the shocking reality of the lives of the invisible workingmen who, like Atlas, are forced to carry society’s burdens. These heroes of vile circumstance—coal miners, firemen, garbage collectors, crematorium workers—are the soot-covered supermen who risk their lives performing difficult and dangerous work for others. But in the end, they, too, amount to nothing but carbo animalis—notwithstanding the impure relation of coal to diamonds. Despite their straightforwardness, Ana Paula Maia’s stories are filled with great insight and compassion for the lives of the men who live on the edge of a society built with their own sweat.
Ana Paula Maia was born in 1977 in the Nova Iguaçu suburb of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She has published five novels, among them: Entre rinhas de cachorros e porcos abatidos, Carvão animal, and De gados e homens. Her books have been published in Serbia, Germany, Argentina, France, and Italy, and are forthcoming in the United States and Spain. Her novel, A guerra dos bastardos won a prize for best foreign police-thriller in Germany. She is also a screenwriter.
Alexandra Joy Forman is a writer and translator. She is the author of Tall Slim & Erect: Portraits of the American Presidents (Les Figues Press); and, she has translated Brazilian author Hilda Hilst’s first novel Phloem Flux (2016, Nightboat Books/A Bolha Editora). She lives in Rio de Janeiro.