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Waiting for Rain: The Politics and Poetry of Drought in Northeast Brazil

De (autor) Cuvânt înainte de Nancy Scheper-Hughes
Notă GoodReads:
en Limba Engleză Paperback – October 2004
When droughts hit northeastern Brazil, thousands of rural workers are forced to abandon their homes for the cities in search of work. The double impact of drought and corruption—with politicians taking advantage of drought to buy votes and pilfer government accounts—contributes to an endless cycle of human suffering.
In order to understand the impact of drought and the phenomenon of drought politics, Nicholas Gabriel Arons goes beyond traditional social-science scholarship to sources such as novels, poetry, popular art, and oral history. For many people in the region, these artistic renditions of life are, ironically, a better reflection of reality than political rhetoric, government archives, and newspaper accounts—even though they are infused with myth or hyperbole.
Drawing on interviews with artists and poets and on his own experiences in the Brazilian Northeast, Arons has written a poignant account of how drought has impacted the region’s culture. He intertwines ecological, social, and political issues with the words of some of Brazil’s most prominent authors and folk poets to show how themes surrounding drought—hunger, migration, endurance, nostalgia for the land—have become deeply embedded in Nordeste identity. Through this tapestry of sources, Arons shows that what is often thought of as a natural phenomenon is actually the result of centuries of social inequality, political corruption, and unsustainable land use.
Waiting for Rain dramatically depicts a region still suffering from austere social and political realities, where drought—even during rainy seasons—is ubiquitous in the hearts and minds of its residents. A book of hope and resistance, myth and reality, and suffering and salvation, it is also a personal narrative of self-discovery, tracing a young man’s struggle to understand how human tragedy on a grand scale can exist alongside natural beauty.
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ISBN-13: 9780816523306
ISBN-10: 0816523304
Pagini: 251
Dimensiuni: 152 x 229 x 18 mm
Greutate: 0.39 kg
Ediția: New.
Editura: University of Arizona Press
Colecția University of Arizona Press


“Rarely has any work so deeply touched, infuriated and, surprisingly, imbued me with such hope...a noble, poetic book.”—Studs Terkel, author of Hope Dies Last: Keeping the Faith in Difficult Times
“Very occasionally, a book happens along which is so honest and raw in its treatment of an otherwise dispassionate subject (in this case drought) that it can move the reader to tears. Nicholas Gabriel Arons has accomplished just such a rare feat in his poetry-studded narrative of the reasons for, and the multi-layered reactions to, the cyclical phenomenon of drought in northeastern Brazil.”—Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“A passionate investigation of the contradictions of drought and injustice in the Brazilian northeast.”—Thomas Skidmore, author of Modern Latin America and Politics In Brazil
“A lyrical, close-to-the ground account of the cultural politics and poetics of living in the wings of an impending disaster.”—Nancy Scheper-Hughes, author of Death Without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil

Notă biografică

Nicholas Gabriel Arons has worked as a writer for international policy think tanks, at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, at public defender legal offices, for civil liberties organizations, and as a non-violence educator. He observed the impact of economic sanctions and U.S. bombings in Iraq, publishing his findings in Fellowship, UTNE Reader, Punk Planet, Counterpunch, Foreign Policy in Focus, and Iraq Under Siege. He is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to research the culture of drought in Brazil and is currently a Robert McKay Scholar, a Hays Fellow and an Institute for International Law and Justice Fellow at New York University School of Law.


List of Illustrations
Preface: Fusion and Confusion
1 Earth and Wind
2 Snapshots of the Northeast
3 The Apocalypse
4 Poetry on a String
5 From the Sertão to the Streets
6 The Land Is Good, the Sky Is Bad
7 Holy Jerônimo!
8 The Politics of Drought
9 Messiahs, Troubadours, and Bards
10 Homer of the Sertão
11 Government Corrals and a ‘‘World Covered in Pain"
12 NASA or Jacob
13 The Priest
14 ‘‘Walking Single-File to the World Beyond’’
15 An Old Man Dancing
16 ‘‘So As Not to Say That I Did Not Speak of Flowers’’
17 Air and Fire