In Honor of José Sarney: Writer and Public Fugure

October 6, 2005 - 12:00 pm

Celebrating the Release of The Master of the Sea

Born in 1930, José Sarney had a long career as both literary figure and politician. As writer he authored more than 30 books ranging from collections of poetry, essays, parliamentary speeches and short stories. He also contributed columns to numerous Brazilian newspapers. In 1951 he helped found A Ilha, an avant-garde literary magazine and, in 1952 he published his first book, a collection of poems entitled A canção inicial.
In 1970 the short stories Norte das Águas (Tales of Rain and Sunlight) received the international recognition for celebrating the language and universe of his state of origin Maranhão. In 2003, Sarney received the Aluízio de Azevedo Award from the Brazilian Union of Writers for his literary works, and his latest novel, Saraminda, was included in the prestigious Collection Folio in France in June 2003. The Master of the Sea (O Dono do Mar) is Sarney’s first novel (1995). It has been translated From Portuguese into French, Spanish, Arabic, Greek and Romanian. Today’s event celebrates the release of the book in English.

As public figure, José Sarney entered the Chambers of Deputies in 1956, was Governor of the State of Maranhão (1966-1970), President of the Republic from 1985 to 1990, Senator (1971-1985, 1991-2007) and President of the National Congress (1995-1997).

Sarney has been a member of the Brazilian Literary Academy since 1982.