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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Sun on My Head

The Sun on My Head


Geovani Martins; Translated from the Portuguese by Julia Sanches

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


A bestselling literary sensation in Brazil, a powerful debut short-story collection about favela life in Rio de Janeiro

In The Sun on My Head, Geovani Martins recounts the experiences of boys growing up in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro in the early years of the twenty-first century. Drawing on his childhood and adolescence, Martins uses the rhythms and slang of his neighborhood dialect to capture the texture of life in the slums, where every day is shadowed by a ubiquitous drug culture, the constant threat of the police, and the confines of poverty, violence, and racial oppression. And yet these are also stories of friendship, romance, and momentary relief, as in “Rolézim,” where a group of teenagers head to the beach. Other stories, all uncompromising in their realism and yet diverse in narrative form, explore the changes that occur when militarized police occupy the favelas in the lead-up to the World Cup, the cycles of violence in the narcotics trade, and the feelings of invisibility that define the realities of so many in Rio’s underclass.

The Sun on My Head is a work of great talent and sensitivity, a daring evocation of life in the favelas by a rising star rooted in the community he portrays.

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Geovani Martins; Translated from the Portuguese by Julia Sanches

Geovani Martins was born in 1991 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He grew up with his mother and grandmother in the Rio neighborhood of Rocinha. He supported his writing by working as a sandwich-board man and selling drinks on the beach, and was discovered during creative writing workshops at Flup, the literary festival of the Rio favelas. The Sun on My Head is his first book.

Brazilian by birth, Julia Sanches has lived in the United States, Mexico, Switzerland, Scotland, and Catalonia. She translates works from Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, and French. Her translations have appeared in Granta, Suelta, The Washington Review, Asymptote, Two Lines, and Revista Machado, among other publications.

Geovani Martins

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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