The Discovery of America by the Turks

The Discovery of America by the Turks

Translator: Gregory Rabassa

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780143106982
  • 96 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


Published here for the first time in English in a brilliant translation by the peerless Gregory Rabassa, The Discovery of America by the Turks is a whimsical Brazilian take on The Taming of the Shrew that will remind readers why Jorge Amado is to Portuguese-American literature what Jorge Luis Borges is to Spanish-American literature. It follows the adventures of two Arab immigrants-“Turks,” as Brazilians call them-who arrive in the rough Brazilian frontier in 1903 and become involved in a merchant’s farcical attempt to marry off his shrew of a daughter.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


“Funny, intelligent, often tender, not infrequently raunchy . . . The tale unfolds with twists worthy of a Shakespearean comedy, but what is truly memorable are Amado’s character portraits and his vibrant comic scenes of Brazilian life. . . . [An] excellent example of the particular mixture of folkloric elements and high-literary storytelling for which Amado is often paired with Gabriel García Márquez.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Delightful . . . A wonder of the art of narration [by] the voice, the feeling, and the joy of Brazil.” —José Saramago, from the Foreword

“Hugely entertaining . . . Amado’s version of Brazil is seductive.” —The Times Literary Supplement

“Cause for rejoicing . . . Irresistible . . .  Thoroughly satisfying. There’s more packed into the slender The Discovery of America by the Turks than many a novel five times its length, delivered with zest and spice and an unashamed love of physical pleasure. Perhaps more than any other author, Jorge Amado can capture in words the simple, radiant joys of living.” —Shelf Awareness
PRH Book Clubs Survey