Saturday, January 12, 2008
Errol Lincoln Uys (pronounced ‘Ace’) is the author of the historical novel, Brazil (Simon and Schuster, 1986; New edition, Silver Spring, 2000).
Of this work, distinguished Brazilian critic Wilson Martins wrote: “Uys accomplished what no Brazilian author from José de Alencar to João Ubaldo Ribeiro and Jorge Amado was able to do. He is the first to write our national epic in its entirety. He is the first outsider to see us with total honesty and sympathy. Descriptions like those of the war with Paraguay are unsurpassed in our literature and evoke the great passages of War and Peace.”
Brazil won the highest critical acclaim in the United Kingdom, Germany and France, where it was a bestseller (La Forteresse Verte.) Said Le Figaro: “No one before Uys knew how to bring to life Brazil and her history. Uys’s characters are brilliant and colorful, combining elements of the best swashbuckler with those worthy of deepest reflection. Most stunning is that it took a South African now a naturalized American, to evoke so perfectly the grand but interrupted dream that is Brazil.” L’Express concurred: “A masterpiece! Brazil has the feel of an enchanted virgin forest, a totally new and original world for the reader-explorer to discover.”
Publisher’s Weekly described Brazil as “Pulsing with vigor, this is a vast novel to tell the story of a vast country. The principal characters, both real and imaginary, are hard to forget . . . Uys re-creates history almost entirely ‘at ground level,’ even more densely than Michener.”
Uys has also written the non-fiction book, Riding the Rails: Teenagers on the Move During the Great Depression (TV Books, 1999; Routledge, 2003.) The Boston Globe praised this work as “A riveting document of hope and hardship. The reader can all but hear the cadence of the trains on the tracks and the lonesome wail at every whistle-stop.” Riding the Rails was chosen as one of the “10 Best Books of 1999” by Amazon’s history editor.
Uys is a writer and editor with thirty years’ experience in the United States, England and Africa. He was editor-in-chief of Reader’s Digest in South Africa and senior international editor with the U.S. edition. In 1978, he began a two-year collaboration with James A. Michener that produced The Covenant. He has been a resident of Massachusetts since 1981 and currently lives in Dorchester, Boston.