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The Life and Death of a Minke Whale in the Amazon


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Table of Contents


Introduction: Writing as the Projection of Worlds
A Forest in Flames
Brazilians and Venezuelans: A Chronicle of Hatred and Compassion
The Life and Death of a Minke Whale in the Amazon
An Afternoon with Venezuelans at the Manaus Bus Terminal Overpass
The Self-Demarcation of Tupinamba Indigenous Land in the Lower Tapajos River Basin
Anama: Six Months Under Water, Six Months on Dry Land
"What They Really Want Is to Kill Us": Violence and Destruction in a Mega-Acai Farm in Para
The Poison Fields
"Nature Herself is Drying Up": A Quilombo on the Island of Marajo Feels the Impact of Rice Paddies Amid Turbulent Times
The Kumua of the Upper Rio Negro and the Decolonization of Indigenous Bodies
Between the Festival and the Fight: The Life of the First Indigenous Person in Brazil to Die from COVID-19
Epilogue: Writing Nearby

Promotional Information

  • Large galley quantities available for PGW sales force, Indie Next campaign, major media, and influencers
  • Major galley send to journalists who report on deforestation, wildfires, climate change, and the degradation of Indigenous lands
  • Major advertising campaign with American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) and National Geographic
  • Promotional partnership with SIBA with targeted advertising and promotions to Southern booksellers and readers
  • Digital marketing through the publisher to communities of more than 30K readers and buyers, including special pushes to academic and sales communities
  • Preorder campaign in partnership with Parnassus in Nashville (where translator Ezra Fitz lives)
  • Virtual touring with translator and author to bookstores in Tennessee, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California
  • About the Author

    Fabio Zuker is the author of The Life and Death of a Minke Whale in the Amazon. A writer and journalist, he holds a master's degree from the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences in Paris and is a PhD candidate in Social Anthropology at the University of Sao Paulo. He has also been three times a Pulitzer Center grantee. As a journalist he is a frequent contributor to Thomson Reuters Foundation and InfoAmazonia who has written for National Geographic, Revista Piaui, Le Monde Diplomatique Brasil, Agencia Publica, and Nexo Jornal, among others. He is also the author of On an Escape Route: Essays on Writing, Fear, and Violence (Hedra Editions, only available in Portuguese). In recent years he has focused his research on stories of the Amazon rainforest, looking to write "nearby" the people whose land is being destroyed and their approaches to resistance.

    Ezra E. Fitz is the translator of The Life and Death of a Minke Whale in the Amazon. He has worked with Grammy-winning musician Juanes, Emmy-winning journalist Jorge Ramos, and the king of soccer himself, Pele. His translations of contemporary Latin American literature by Alberto Fuguet, Eloy Urroz, and others have been praised by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, and The Believer, among other publications. Fitz has been awarded grants from the Mexican National Fund for Culture and Arts (FONCA). He was a 2010 Resident at the Banff International Literary Translation Centre and a 2019 Peter Taylor Fellow with the Kenyon Review Literary Translation Workshop. He lives with his wife and children in Spring Hill, Tennessee.


    Praise for The Life and Death of a Minke Whale in the Amazon
    A Book Riot "Must-Read Book in Translation for 2022""Zuker combines hard-hitting reportage with stories that veer from hopeful to elegiac, and his takes on his subjects' relationship with the rainforest are spot-on and direct . . . This one deserves wide readership."-Publishers Weekly"Thanks to Zuker's essays, neglected voices from a remote part of the world receive much-needed attention . . . Recommended for anyone seeking to better understand the often overlooked world of Indigenous Amazonians."-Kirkus Reviews"In poignant, lyrical, even fable-like essays written primarily from the perspectives of Indigenous people, Brazilian journalist Zuker chronicles the destruction of the Amazon rainforest . . . Zuker presents an in-depth depiction of massive environmental and social decimation conveying urgently needed information and insights."-Booklist"With Zuker, the language, the thoughtful observation, and the work of witnessing this profound time of alteration never falters. In his prose, in his conclusions, and with his keen eye, he allows us to know him in the areas of his expertise, and in the areas of his displacement and wandering. While he does not over-identify with the people he documents, neither does he set himself apart from the world in which they find themselves." -Eiren Caffall, Los Angeles Review of Books
    "These are astute and vivid dispatches from a part of the world, and a viewpoint that most Americans know far too little about-and that plays an absolutely critical role in the planet's future." -Bill McKibben, author of The Flag, The Cross, and the Station Wagon"This unique view of Brazil's precious, precarious rain forest shimmers with passion and an intimate understanding of 'the friction between two worlds, between two ways of relating to the land.'"-Foreword Reviews"In this collection of linked essays, Fabio Zuker gathers together the voices of those long left out of the official conversations around what the Amazon was, is, and ought to be. By listening to ordinary people and recounting their tales, he invites us to eavesdrop on an extraordinary conversation unfolding between this place and those who call it home." -Elizabeth Rush, author of Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore"This collection of essays by Fabio Zuker is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the challenges and dangers facing the Amazon region and its Indigenous peoples. Zuker has the infallibly keen eye of a world-class journalist. His prose flows like water from one chapter to the next as he tracks harsh realities, like the death of a river, beside the wonderful astonishment of finding a whale in the most unexpected of places. If you get caught in his net, you won't regret it." -Jorge Ramos, author of Stranger: The Challenge of a Latino Immigrant in the Trump Era"Heartbreaking and necessary, these essays embody the struggles of Indigenous peoples respecting their past and fighting for their present, while exploring the long-reaching and deadly impacts that greed-and the forces of evil that supply greed-have on the world and on people in Brazil in particular." -BrocheAroe Fabian, River Dog Book Co. "In the midst of this crossfire that's ravaging the forest, with a far-right government churning out more fake news every minute and manipulating the truth about the burning Amazon rainforest, it's essential to highlight the ethical concern that permeates the writing of these essays: writing that isn't about something or with something, but is, as the Vietnamese filmmaker and thinker Trinh T. Minh-ha puts it, near to it."-Le Monde Diplomatique-Brasil

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