Jeferson Tenório on O Avesso da Pele

Thursday, Mar 11, 2021

On March 3, 2021, the Brazil LAB and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese hosted the second of a series of talks, “Pílulas literárias”, in connection with Lilia M. Schwarcz and Pedro Meira Monteiro’s seminar “The Canon Re-Signified" (POR 415/LAS 425). The event was live-streamed for the public on three YouTube channels and has already accrued more than 2,000 views. This virtual talk was hosted and conducted by Professors Schwarcz and Meira Monteiro and their students.

Brazilian author and literature teacher Jeferson Tenório (b. 1977) spoke about his latest novel, O avesso da pele (Companhia das Letras, 2019), which has received widespread acclaim from both
 readers and critics. The novel, which centers around Pedro, a young man trying to recover the pieces of his late father’s past, grapples with a number of pressing topics, including systemic racism, discrimination and police brutality.

O avesso da pele also explores the intricate relationships between parents and their children, and the realities of being a black teacher in the predominantly white city of Porto Alegre. The novel finds inspiration in, and also makes connections to, many works of world literature, including those by Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Cervantes and Baldwin, as well as Nobel Prize-winning author and Princeton Professor Emeritus Toni Morrison. 

The public, live-streamed event was attended by a global audience, including individuals
 from across Brazil and throughout the United States and Canada. In the audience were a number of Tenório’s current high school students, who actively participated in the discussion. 

The event was sponsored by the Brazil LAB and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and co-sponsored by Projeto MinasMundo and ANPOCS Pública.