Ângelo, Ivan 1936–

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Ângelo, Ivan 1936–

PERSONAL: Born February 4, 1936, in Barbacena, Minas Gerais, Brazil; son of Jesus Geraldo and Divina (Vianna) Ângelo; married; wife's name Angélica; children: Júlia.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Dalkey Archive Press, ISU Campus 8905, Normal, IL 61790-8905.

CAREER: Cofounder, Complemento, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, beginning 1956; columnist and editor for newspapers in Belo Horizonte, 1958–64; Jornal de Tarde, São Paulo, Brazil, editor, 1965–68, managing editor, 1968–86, executive chief editor, 1986–96, editor of special projects, 1996–98, television columnist, 1998–.

AWARDS, HONORS: Literary Prize, City of Belo Horizonte, 1959, for the unedited manuscript of Homem sofrendo no quarto; Jabuti Prize, Câmara Brasileira Associação Paulista dos Criticos de Arte, 1986, for A face horrível; Best Children's Book, Associação Paulista dos Criticos de Arte, 1997, for Pode me beijar se quiser.


(With Silviano Santiago) Duas faces (short stories), Editôra Itatiaia (Belo Horizonte, Brazil), 1961.

A festa (novel), Vertente Editora (São Paulo, Brazil), 1976, translation by Thomas Colchie published as The Celebration, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1982.

A casa de vidro: Cinco histórias do Brasil (five novellas), Livraria Cultura Editora (São Paulo, Brazil), 1979, translation by Ellen Watson published as The Tower of Glass, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1986.

A face horrível (short stories), Editora Nova Fronteira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1986.

São Paulo, 1880–1990: 110 anos de industrializeção, Editora Três (São Paulo, Brazil), 1992.

Amor? (novella), Companhia das Letras (São Paulo, Brazil), 1995.

85 anos de cultura: História da sociedade de cultura artística, Studio Nobel (São Paulo, Brazil), 1998.

Verde, amarelo, bleu, blanc, rouge, DBA (São Paulo, Brazil), 1998.

Trabalho, superacão, coragem, pioneirismo, photographs by André Andrade and others, DBA (São Paulo, Brazil), 1999.

O comprador de aventuras e outras crônicas, Editora Atica (São Paulo, Brazil), 2000.

BASF 90 anos: uma histórias no Brasil, DBA (São Paulo, Brazil), 2001.

Also author of episodes of the television series Séries Brasileiras, Rede Globo de Televisão, 1981.Contributor to periodicals, including Veja, Playboy, Itinerários, Correio Braziliense, and O Tempo. Audiocassette recordings of the author reading from his books are available at the Library of Congress's Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape, 1983, and the Instituto Moreira Salles, 1998.


O ladrão de sonhos, Editora Atica (São Paulo, Brazil), 1994.

Pode me beijar se quiser, Editora Atica (São Paulo, Brazil), 1994.

O vestido luminoso da princesa, Editora Moderna (São Paulo, Brazil), 1997.

História em ão e inha, Editora Moderna (São Paulo, Brazil), 1997.

(Translator) Kenneth Grahame, O vento nos salqueros (translation of The Wind in the Willows), Editora Moderna (São Paulo, Brazil), 1998.

SIDELIGHTS: Brazilian author Ivan Ângelo's literary activities began in 1956, when he cofounded the arts and cultural review Complemento with other young intellectuals. Two years later, he embarked on a journalism career as a columnist and editor. His novel A festa won the prestigious Jabuti Prize and was later translated into several languages; it was published in English as The Celebration. While continuing to write for adult readers, Ângelo has also published books for children, such as Pode me beijar se quiser, which won the Best Children's Book award from the Associação Paulista dos Criticos de Arte.

Ângelo's success as a writer did not come easily. The political environment in his native Brazil at the time favored censorship. Because of this, his A festa, which was written in 1963, was not published until 1976. In A festa the reader is presented with two very different sides of Brazilian society: one consists of young, liberal sophisticates who are preparing for the celebration of the title; and the other are the poor, starving immigrants from northern Brazil who riot at a train station. When a reporter is killed in the melee and the Department of Political and Social Order gets involved, these two worlds collide. Reviewers of the novel noted its experimental style. "Ângelo presents his events and characters through a variety of techniques and styles," observed Patrick Breslin in the Washington Post, "like a juggler showing all his tricks. He culls newspaper columns and political speeches for quotes that frame his story…. We hear one half of phone conversations, staccato interior monologues, an infant grappling with the first steps in constructing sentences."

The author's second book to be translated into English, A casa de vidro: Cinco histórias do Brasil, was published as The Tower of Glass. It contains five novellas that are tied together as commentaries on violence, corruption, poverty, and greed in Brazilian society. In the title story, a futuristic tale, Ângelo makes a statement about societal complacency when a prison's walls are replaced with glass. The populace is thus allowed to see the brutality that occurs within, but after a time they become used to it and ignore it. As John Gledson observed in his Times Literary Supplement review, the tale reveals "how even an apparent liberalization and removal of censorship can slowly create a sense of complicity and blockage, where the threat of violent intervention is never entirely absent." A Publishers Weekly critic, summarizing the impression of the other stories in the collection, stated: "Though thin on plot, they offer a vivid, street-level montage" of Brazil's poor, working classes, and authorities. Gledson concluded that "Ângelo's fiction is some of the most vivid and thoughtful to have come out of Latin America in recent years."

Ângelo's A face horrível is a collection of fourteen stories that updates and adds to his earlier collection, Duas faces. The "horrible side" referred to in the title is a comment on the "disturbing underside of surface reality," according to Nelson Vieira in a World Literature Today review. Vieira added: "With irony and humor, Ângelo compels his readers to face such un-pleasantries as the ugly and repressive side of traditional roles, success stories under an authoritarian regime, police bureaucracy, single parenthood in a society of no divorce, and the lack of communication in marriage, love, and sex."

In an interview for the online Klick Escritores, the author described his reasons for writing: "I began because I had held a great number of injustices inside me, those that incite rebellion in children and in adolescents, and I was searching for a channel through which to speak out about them…. I realized that through those words I would be able to play with the mind of the reader, not simply playing with his emotions, not only revealing to him the oppressor or the oppressed dwelling within him, but also proposing to him a kind of text, calling into question the kind of text to which he had been accustomed."



Library Journal, December 15, 1981, Dru Dougherty, review of The Celebration, p. 2405.

Newsweek, July 12, 1982, Jim Miller, "A Barrage from Brazil," review of The Celebration, p. 71.

Publishers Weekly, November 27, 1981, review of The Celebrarion, p. 83; November 29, 1985, review of The Tower of Glass, p. 44.

Quill & Quire, March, 1982, Paul Stuewe, "Imports: Italian Folktales … Nouveau Cuisine … Giving Peace a Chance," review of The Celebration, p. 69.

Times Literary Supplement, February 27, 1987, John Gledson, "The Real, True S.O.B.," review of The Tower of Glass, p. 207.

Washington Post, April 4, 1982, Patrick Breslin, review of The Celebration.

World Literature Today, winter, 1987, Nelson H. Vieira, review of A face horrível, pp. 79-80.


Itaú Cultural, http://www.itaucultural.org.br/ (September 3, 2003), biographical information on Ivan Ângelo.

Klick Escritores, http://www.klickescritores.com.br/ (September 3, 2003), interview with Ivan Ângelo.

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