Afro-Brazilian writer Conceição Evaristo, born November 29, 1946, explains how she came to be a writer:
“I grew up listening to my family telling stories about slavery. All of this oral communication that I received had to spill out in some way and it began coming out in what I wrote. My writing has a lot to do with my position in Brazilian society, with my position as a woman, as a black person and as a poor person. My writing depends strongly upon me as an individual to a great extent, but it also depends a lot on my history and upon the history of my community.
My great dream is to be able to give my texts back to the people who gave me their life stories. It would be difficult for that to happen because I’m writing in a country where the vast majority is illiterate. In a country like Brazil, I believe that I have a social obligation to return to my origins. I believe in this type of politics and I think that people need to believe it in.”