In Brazil, Reading is Still Fundamental (as Other Nations Dumb Down); American Author Steven Carter is Enjoying Celebrity Status
Throngs of Brazilian book fans filled the Bienal Internacional do Livro in Sao Paulo over the weekend. This bi-annual event had over one million visitors by Sunday evening, making it the world´s most highly-attended Book Fair.
This may be no surprise in Brazil, where smart investments are transforming the economy at lightening speed, and books are just one more smart investment. But it has been very surprising news for American author Steven Carter.
Sales of Steven Carter’s relationship books are breaking records in Brazil as women experience better jobs, higher pay, greater independence, and some unpleasant push back from men not quite ready for women to have it all. The Los Angeles Times recently published an article about Carter’s stunning success.
To read this article, cut and paste the following link into your browser: http://www.latimes.com/features/books/la-et-self26-2008jul26,0,2920383.story
Two of Carter’s books, “What Smart Women Know” and “Men Like Women Who Like Themselves,” originally published in the U.S. in the 1990’s, have been on the bestseller lists of Brazil’s biggest newspapers and magazines, including Folha de S. Paulo and Revista Veja, for a mind-boggling 98 weeks.
“It’s the last thing in the world I expected" said Carter, who lives with his wife in Los Angeles and currently serves as Dean of Administration at Yo San University, a school of Chinese medicine.
Carter, the author of 20 books including seven national bestsellers and the New York Times bestseller “Men Who Can’t Love”, didn’t find out that his books were on Brazil’s bestseller lists until he received his first royalty check in the mail. And it was a big one.
Carter’s Brazilian publisher, Marcos Pereira, co-owner of the self-help and spirituality publishing company GMT Sextante, has not been completely surprised by Carter’s success. He knows how strongly Brazilian women are now responding to well-written books with a psychological slant.
“We are a very focused company in terms of our business -- one of the ways we try to find books is to establish what kinds of books would identify with the reader” Pereira said. “The role of women in the Brazilian culture or economy has evolved,” explained Pereira, “If you think of the U.S. 20 years ago, I think this is happening now in Brazil. Women are rethinking their roles.” “This rethinking is happening fast, adds Steven Carter, “Women are embracing their success and independence while firmly rejecting Brazil’s machismo past. They’re ready to deal with the push back.”
Carter arrived in Sao Paulo Saturday morning to attend the Bienal for a series of book signings. On Saturday night, Carter had his first opportunity to meet his audience face to face. One man in the crowd muttered, “Smart women know when to keep their mouths quiet.” Carter responded, “We aren´t selling zippers here, we´re promoting emotional health” The man actually apologized for his comment.
Carter will tour Brazil this week for another round of media appearances, book signings and lectures. His next stop: Livrarias Curitiba in Curitiba’s newest mega-mall. The on to Rio de Janeiro and Petropolis.
To read the complete L.A. Times article, cut and paste this link in your web browser: http://www.latimes.com/features/books/la-et-self26-2008jul26,0,2920383.story
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