An extraordinary adventure, set against a forgotten event of the Renaissance: the French colonization of Brazil.
Brazil Red tells the story of two orphaned children, Just and Colombe, who are dragged off on the French colonizing expeditionthey are meant to learn the native languages and act as interpreters. Everything in this novel is outsized: the setting, a jungle still populated by cannibals; the characters, including Villegagnon, the expedition’s eccentric leader, who might be a model for Cyrano or d’Artagnan; and the events, a dress rehearsal for the Wars of Religion ten years in the future.
The story is based on a factual historical account of the early attempts to colonize the area that is present day Rio De Janeiro.
Packed with portraits, landscapes, and action, Brazil Red is a novel about coming of age and discovering love. On a deeper level, the story follows the destinies and decisions of Just and Colombe, presenting two conflicting views of man and nature. On one hand, a conquering European civilization, offering liberation but delivering death. On the other, the Indian world, with its sensuality, its harmony, its sense of the sacred, its continual call to happiness.