Maria José Silveira

Maria José Silveira


Maria José Silveira, writer, and translator, graduated in Communication and Anthropology, with a Master’s Degree in Political Science. For several years, she worked as an editor and publisher. Since the huge success of her first novel, HER MOTHER’S MOTHER’S MOTHER AND HER DAUGHTERS,

she dedicates herself exclusively to writing and has a vast work of awarded adult, children and YA books, many of them adopted by government programs. She has also written three plays, all staged. Born in Goiania, she currently lives in São Paulo, Brazil.


This novel tells the story of a lineage of Brazilian women from Colonization through nowadays, playing important roles in the history of the country. Inaia, an Indian baby girl born in 1500, at the moment when the Portuguese step for the first on what will be Brazilian territory, is the first of those women and opens the book. Each one is the protagonist of a chapter, daughters taking the places of their mothers with such vivid narratives that the reader feels as if living the stories.

With an intricate sequence of experiences and events, the author recreates Brazilian History through everyday life _ losses and gains, joy and grief, challenges and dilemmas told through the eyes of pure but troubled, pained souls.

Publication/Status: by Editora Globo (Brazil) in 2002; and by Open Letter Books (USA) in October 2017. Sold to Éditions Denoël (France). [367 pages]


The time and place of this novel is a mythical e a-historic Brazil. The First People has inherited the secret of the Time of no Evil, and that is what their enemies wish to discover. In fact, the secret for “this land of happiness, freedom, and love” is just to live the best way you can, and wait. Nevertheless, the people of El Dorado believe that this secret must be more concrete and material. They plan to achieve it and, for that, reunite its own and powerful army, and also the mercenaries of the People without Color, the Dry-Bodies, and the Living-Dead. The First People has other mythical forces to defend their land, among them the Amazons and the gigantic M’Boitatá.

The novel narrates the history of this war, meanwhile other mythical beings present themselves: Uiara, an Amazonian version of the sirens, Curupira, defender of the forests and their animals, the Old Trampler Lady, the twins Macu and Naíma and the Men of the Rain. Through the novel abound fantasy, deaths, amazing love scenes and a lot of humour with a commitment to no truth whatsoever.

Publication/Status: On submission.


This is the author’s first book of short stories, each tale about a specific moment of the struggle against the civil-military dictatorship that ruled Brazil for twenty years: from 1964 to 1984. The stories tell us about the everyday lives, families, and loves of the young people who engaged in this struggle, in which many lost their lives.

The plots are about their clandestine lives and political works in factories and neighbourhoods, jails, tortures, the exile and the return to the country after the amnesty and the end of the dictatorship.

Publication/Status: On submission.


The Brazilian myths and legends are about forests, rivers, storms. They are mythological beings that live in intimate contact with natural forces. They are inherited, first, from the Indians. Later, other myths were brought here by the Portuguese and Africans. With much humour, this book recounts thirteen myths: Sacis, Boitatá, Uiara, Cuca, the River Dolphin, the Old Trampler Lady, Curupira, the Living-Dead, Star-of-the-Waters, the Little Niger, Dry-Body.

They are wonderful stories that our ancestors left us centuries ago and are still alive and fresh in the Brazilian imagination, but also resound like all the myths around the world.

Publication/Status: Sold to Rocco (Brazil).


This novel about São Paulo, the sixth largest city in the world, revolves around the invasion of a well-known law firm by an upper-class young man, a scion from Paulistana elite, who takes two hostages: the ex-girlfriend who rejected him and the firm’s cleaning lady. The complex stories of a variety of characters from different worlds pivot around this fulcrum in a

dense book that is a pleasure to read, written with various types of language and voices that reflect the diversity and vitality of a megalopolis

A finalist for the Portugal Telecom Award.

Publication/Status: By Editora Prumo (Brazil) in 2012.

DAMIANA or The War in the Heart of Brazil (DAMIANA ou Guerra no Coração do Serrado)

Damiana was born among the Panará, a Native Brazilian nation, in the XVIII century. Raised by the white governor of Goiás, a settlement in the centre of Brazil, she became fluent in Portuguese and learned the principles of the Western culture and the Catholic dogmas. In this way, Damiana became a bridge between the white and the natives. She lived – and acted – in the heart of the great historical cataclysm that brought her people, considered “the cruellest and barbaric”, to total decimation.

Trying to understand what has happened to Damiana and how it may have happened was the challenge of this novel. Thus the author “deconstructs” the heroic legend of Damiana as an evangelist in order to let appear, in its place, an extraordinary woman trying to create an impossible harmony between two violently incompatible cultures.

Publication/Status: By Editora Record (Brazil) in 2007.


Eleanor Marx, Karl Marx’s youngest daughter, the only to play an important militant role in the international socialist movement, was born in London in 1885 where her father was in exile. She grew up amongst revolutionaries from various countries, was an adolescent her adolescent during the Paris Commune and matured with the struggles of the worker´s movement in London. She committed suicide at 43 years old, after discovering that the companion with whom she had lived for fourteen years had married another woman.

The novel is structured in the course of the last ten months of Eleanor’s life: the period starting when Edward Aveling, the companion with whom she lived, marries clandestinely, until the day that she finally discovers the betrayal and kills herself. The chapters interlace her daily life in those ten months with memories and reflections in letters to a friend.

Publication/Status: By Editora Francis (Brazil) in 2002, by LOM Ediciones (Chile) in 2005, and by Editora Txlaparta (Spain) in 2006.