Hugh Thomson

Living with the Xingu in deepest Amazonia

The Brazilian journalist Eliane Brum moves from São Paulo to ‘reforest’ herself in the Amazon, and slowly gains the trust of a wary, isolated tribal people

Eliane Brum in the Amazon. [Azul Serra]

The Amazon is a notoriously difficult part of the world to write about – and I’ve tried. Travelling the river’s slow length, it can be hard to make sense of any changes beneath the forest canopy or to link its disparate communities.

The Brazilian writer Eliane Brum succeeds triumphantly. Acclaimed for her previous ‘despatches from Brazil’, appealingly titled The Collector of Leftover Souls, she moved from São Paulo, one of the largest cities of the Americas, to the isolated Xingu tributary to embed herself completely.

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