© Daniel Mordzinski
Tabajara Ruas, born in Uruguaiana in 1942, is considered one of the greatest novelists of southern Brazil. He was forced to live in exile in Latin America and Europe from 1971 to 1981 and has been working as a journalist, script writer, film producer and director since 1978.
Tabajara Ruas has become well known for his novels which are set in southern Brazil. He has chosen historical themes as in Netto perde sua alma (“Netto loses his Soul”), as well as contemporary actions which are set against the backdrop of the military regime and the repression in his country, like A região submersa (“The submerged Region”) with first editions in Portugal and Denmark in 1978), a novel which could only be published in Brazil in 1981. An altogether exciting crime story told with linguistic precision and which has not lost anything of its topicality. The same goes for the novel O amor de Pedro por João (“Pedro’s Love for João”). In his gripping thriller O fascínio (“Fascination”), playing with fantastic elements from the classical ghost story, Tabajara Ruas shows how the past can catch up with the present, while depicting a man from better social circles who does not shrink from continuing the crimes of his predecessors.
In the crossover novel Perseguição e cerco a Juvêncio Gutierrez (“The Persecution and Encirclement of Juvêncio Gutierrez”), the 13-year-old first-person narrator is watching a soccer match while his uncle J.Gutierrez, who is being hunted by the police for smuggling, returns to his hometown. A clash with the police is inevitable. For the boy the uncle is an important figure of identification. The soccer match and the arrival of the uncle take place simultaneously and are masterfully linked in the narrative. The author perceptively describes the transition to adulthood, the awakening of sexuality and the growing awareness of political and social conflict.
When run-down private detective Cid Espigão tries to solve a client's case, he gets drawn into an adventure that leads him from the underground of Porto Alegre to the Brazilian jungle and Acapulco. Fighting against alligators, beautiful women and a powerful tyrant, Cid barely manages to stay alive. Written in a self-ironic tone, O detetive sentimental (“The Sentimental Detective”) is a lively road movie in the guise of a crime story.
In Os varões assinalados (“The Bold Heroes”), Ruas writes about one of the most important historic events of southern Brazil, the Farroupilha Revolution. In prison, Bento Gonçalves meets the Italian freedom fighter Giuseppe Garibaldi. They flee and build a new republic whose fate soon lies in a single battle… Packed with action and true to detail, this captivating novel shows us both sides of the civil war.
Original editions and rights sold:
A região submersa, Porto Alegre: L&PM 1981; Mercado Aberto 1991;
Rio de Janeiro: Record 2000, 300 p.
Argentina: Emecé 2006 ● Denmark: Gyldendal 1980 ● Portugal: Livraria Bertrand 1979; Ambar 2002
O amor de Pedro por João, Porto Alegre: L&PM Editores 1982; 1991;
Rio de Janeiro: Record 1999, 379 p.
Uruguay: Banda Oriental 1999 ● Portugal: Ambar
Os varões assinalados, Porto Alegre: L&PM 1985; Mercado Aberto 1995, 544 p.
Perseguição e cerco a Juvêncio Gutierrez, Porto Alegre: L&PM 1991;
Mercado Aberto 1993, 121 p.
Colombia: Tercer Mundo 1995 ● Italy: Edizioni E/O 2006 ● Portugal: Ambar 2003, 2006 ● Spain: Txalaparta 2007 ● Uruguay: Banda Oriental 1998
Netto perde sua alma, Porto Alegre: Mercado Aberto 1995, 157 p.
Film adaptation by Beto Souza and Tabajara Ruas, 2000
Several important awards
Portugal: Ambar 2003 ● Uruguay: Banda Oriental 1997
O fascínio, Rio de Janeiro: Record 1997, 141 p.
France: Métailié 2005 ● Italy: Edizioni E/O ● Portugal: Ambar 2002 ● Spain: Txalaparta 2007 ● Uruguay: Banda Oriental 1997
Frontera (Perseguição e cerco a Juvêncio Gutierrez, Netto perde sua alma, O fascínio)
Chile: LOM 1999
O detetive sentimental, Rio de Janeiro: Record 2008, 446 p.
For young readers:
Diogo&Diana em: Meu vizinho tem um Rottweiller (e jura que ele é manso...)
Rio de Janeiro: Record 2007, 254 p.