“Best of Brazil” Story Anthology Banned for Obscenity

Os Cem Melhores Contos

The short story anthology Os cem melhores contos brasileiros do século (The 100 Best Brazilian Short Stories of the Century), published by Objetiva, was purchased in bulk by the government for use in public schools — the idea being that a single collection featuring the work of Machado de Assis, Clarice Lispector, Carlos Drummond de Andrade and so many other prestigious Brazilians authors would be an efficient way of introducing students to the rich literary tradition of the country.

Now, the book — which had already been a bestseller and a popular gift at the nation’s bookstores — has been banned from use in public schools in São Paulo State after a group of mothers objected to Ignácio de Loyola Brandão’s story Obscenidades para uma dona de casa (Obscenities for a Housewife), about a woman who receives letters from an unknown man.

A court backed their objection, deeming the book “inappropriate” due to its “high sexual content.”

You can read the Portuguese text of Obscenities for a Housewife here.

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