João Guimarães Rosa (1908–1967) was a novelist and short-story writer who had an innovative prose style, which was influenced by the Brazilian oral tradition from the sertão. His portrayal of the conflicts of Brazilian backlanders in his native Minas Gerais reflected the problems of an isolated rural society adjusting to a modern urban world.
Rosa published Sagarana (1946), which was a collection of short stories set in the sertão. The demands of his diplomatic career prevented the publication of another work; Corpo de Baile (Corps de Ballet) was only published in 1956. His novel, Grande Sertão: Veredas (The Devil to Pay in the Backlands, 1956), established his international reputation.
Steven Byrd is director of the Latin American Studies Minor, at the University of New England. He earned a doctorate in Iberian and Latin American Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin and has expertise in Spanish and Portuguese language and linguistics, Afro-Brazilian speech, and Brazilian food history, civic engagement, and citizenship. His publications include Calunga and the legacy of an African language in Brazil, published by the University of New Mexico Press in 2012.