NPR : Tell Me More

Filed Under:

Living The 'Cat Life' In Brazil

Play associated audio

Camila, the leading lady in Cat Life by Brazilian author Clarah Averbuck, may spend nearly 90 pages pining over the love of her life, Antonio, but that doesn't make her weak.

Averbuck says her heroine is somewhat based on her own life experience. "I fell in love, I was young. ... You know, the first time you realize [it's] not going to work the way you think it's going to work, you get all crushed," she tells Michel Martin, host of NPR's Tell Me More.

Averbuck says Camila is a multidimensional woman, which she often finds lacking in fiction for women. "There is something that annoys me a lot in female characters; they don't have lots of flaws. ... It's not that [Camila is] weak, but she's fragile."

Averbuck says she wanted to tell the complicated story of young women in Brazil, as well as that of young artists struggling to live off their work.

Brazil is fast becoming a financial powerhouse — it's now the 8th largest economy in the world — and is expected to attract the world's attention as it gears up to host the World Cup in 2014 and the next Summer Olympics in 2016.

The country elected its first female president, Dilma Rousseff, in 2011. But, Averbuck says, the country still has a long way to go in its treatment of women.

"Unfortunately, Brazil is still a very sexist country. Girls are still seen like objects. The most important thing a woman can do is just be pretty, and it's a shame," she says.

"I want people to get from my characters that they can be themselves," Averbuck says.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

From Alaska To The Himalayas, 'Voyager' Embarks On Self-Discovery

NPR's Scott Simon talks with writer Russell Banks about his new book, "Voyager." It's a collection of travel writing that also reads like a memoir.
NPR

Farmers Wait, And Wait, For Guest Workers Amid H-2A Visa Delays

For the third year in a row, the H-2A visa program is running behind. That's left farmers waiting for planters and pickers even as the harvest season is well underway.
NPR

Be Like Bernie: Sanders Looks To Spread His Political Wealth

He's beginning to expand his political network by helping upstart progressive congressional candidates and state legislators, lending his fundraising prowess and national fame to boost their bids.
NPR

After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, She Channeled Her Ups And Downs Into Texts

NPR's Scott Simon talks with Natalie Sun about her project, textingwithcancer.com. The website won a Webby award, and documents her pessimism and optimism while undergoing chemotherapy.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.