Granta 121: The Best Of Young Brazilian Novelists edited by John Freeman was first published in autumn of 2012 and I thought it might offer a nice introduction to modern Brazilian society. That is if that is at all possible, since it is, as Jorge Amado said “not a country, but a continent,” huge, diverse in race and social standing. Like all collections there will be hits and misses for me as a reader, but there were quite a few stories that made the grade in my opinion. The book is organized by age, so the eldest writers come first, but I have to say that my favorite story in the whole collection was the last story, “Apnoea,” by 35 year old Daniel Galera. It was a story about fathers and sons and living and dying. There were several references to Jorge Luis Borges classic short story “The South,” which prompted me to find it and read it on the internet, all in all a powerful and engaging story. For example, there’s Ricardo Lisias’ compelling story of a Brazilian chess champion’s crack up involving his suspect friendship with a Bolivian President. In “Animals” by Michael Lamb, he remembers his father and growing up with his father’s wisdom and pet dog. “Lettuce Nights” by Vanessa Barbara is story about a man trying to get on in life after the death of his long-time wife. There were several coming of age stories that I felt were heartfelt and resonated well, one of them was “A Temporary Stay” by Emilio Frian about a Brazilian tennis player unsure about his future in London. Another was, “Valdir Peres, Juanito and Polseki” about a status war among 10 year olds and their toys and possessions. “”Tomorrow, Upon Awakening” by Antonio Xexenesky was also a coming of age story about a teenage boy getting away with his younger girlfriend as he is trying to find himself and what it all means. “Rat Fever” by Javier Arancibia is an unusual story about an injured translator’s conflict with a giant coke-sniffing rat in his country house. “Sparks” written by 32 year old Carol Benismon was entertaining and was contemporary in away that was startling for some reason with references to Doc Martens, iPods, and indie music. Overall, I felt the collection was pretty solid, there were few stories that failed to interest me at all. I look forward to reading more of some of these authors in English in the future.