My professional life began early, at the age of sixteen when I began working as an English teacher. But my dream was always to teach literature, which became a reality when I was 25. I began giving Brazilian literature classes to adolescents in Sao Paulo, job which I kept for over 20 years. During my time as a teacher I always thought that I would become a writer, something I had done since I was a child, but for personal reasons hadn’t had found the occasion to publish.

   It was finally at the age of 43, after publishing some didactic and theory books, that I published my first book of poems entitled Todas as coisas pequenas (Editora Hedra, 2005). In 2007 I started a blog of poetic chronicles about “when nothing happens” (, where I combine everyday prose with linguistic ramblings and personal anecdotes. In 2001 a book was published with sections from the blog: Quando nada está acontecendo (Ed. Martins, 2011).

   After receiving a Petrobas grant, in 2012 I was able to finally make the dream I cherished since childhood a reality—writing a book about my mother’s story, who was a concentration camp survivor. The result was O que os cegos estão sonhando? (Ed. 34, 2012), co-written with Liwia Jaffe and Leda Cartum (my daughter). At the same time I wrote the book of short stories A verdadeira história do alfabeto (Companhia das Letras, 2012), which are fables about the origin of each letter of the Latin alphabet in short narrations.

   In 2015 I wrote and published my first novel Írisz: as orquídeas, which tells the story of Írisz, a survivor of the 1956 Hungarian revolution who arrives in Sao Paulo to study orchids at the city’s botanical gardens.

   During this entire time I continued to give classes, now in creative writing in Sao Paulo, where I
have various practical and theoretical work groups.

   I am also a literary critic for the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper.

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