José Mauro de Vasconcelos
José Mauro was born in Rio de Janeiro on February 26 of 1920. His family was very poor, and when he was still very young, he migrated to Natal where relatives took care of him. Entering the Medical Faculty, José abandoned the course of studies in his second year and returned to Rio de Janeiro. There he worked as a boxing instructor and even as a painter's model.
José iniciated his literature with the novel Banana Brava. His greatest success was his novel Meu Pé de Laranja Lima, that tells about his own personal experiences and the shocks he suffered in his childhood with the abrupt changes of life.
José was part Indian and part Portuguese. He passed his childhood in Natal. When he was 9 years old, he learned to swim, and with pleasure he still remembers the days when he threw himself to the waters of the Potengi River to train for swimming competitions. José frequently went to the sea. He won many swimming competitions and, like every boy, liked to play soccer and to climb on trees. José's first job, from 16 yars old to 17 years old, was a sparring partner of featherweight boxers. Next, he worked in a farm in Mazomba, his job was to carry bananas. After that, he became a fisherman and lived on the coastline at Rio de Janeiro. Later he moved to Recife, where he became an elementary teacher and teacher at a fishermen's center.
Because of his prodigious capacity of telling stories, possessing a fabulous memory, brilliant imagination, and a large human experience, José felt he was obligated to become an author, and started to write novels when he was 22 years old.
The author had his original methods of writing. In the beginning, he would choose the scenarios where the characters would move. Then he would transfer to this place and do rigorous studies there. To write the novel Arara Vermelha, José traveled 450 leagues in the brute wilderness. Next, he builds all the novel, determining even the sentences of the dialogues. He had a memory that, for a long time, allowed him to remember every little detail of his studied scenario. "When the story is entirely made in imagination", reveals the author, "is when I begin to write. I only work I have the impression that the novel is exiting from all the pores of the body."
José relates that after finishing writing the first chapter, he passes to the conclusion of the novel, without even elaborating the plot. "That, he explains "because all the chapters are already produced mentally. It is not really important writing a sequence, like alterating the order. In the end everything goes well". José was a cinemactor and worked in films such as Carteira Modelo 19, Fronteiras do Inferno, Floradas na Serra, Canto do Mar (of which he wrote the screenplay), Na Garganta do Diabo, and A Ilha. He won many prizes, such as the Saci prize to best supporting actor, the Saci prize to the best actor of the year, and the Governo do Estado prize to best actor of the year. His novels Arara Vermelha and Vazante were filmed.