Friday Reads: Five Rings, Five Books For Rio

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As the world turns its eyes toward Rio in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games, people everywhere are immersing themselves in Brazil's cultural offerings—food, art, music, and, of course, literature. For decades, readers have taken to the poetry and fiction of Machado de Assis and Jorge Amado and the stories of experimental giants like Clarice Lispector and Hilda Hilst.

These are essential voices in the country's extensive literary canon. But there is also much to discover, especially if — understandably — your familiarity with modern Brazilian writers stops at Paul Coelho, whose flat-footed, quasi-inspirational mush has sold hundreds of millions of books across the world. Eager readers, do not be dismayed: There are many fresh and exciting new voices that are truly revitalizing the landscape of Brazilian letters.

Here are notable books from five of Brazil's best and brightest.

Juan Vidal is a writer and critic for NPR Books. He's on Twitter: @itsjuanlove

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