Paulo Scott was born in 1966 in Porto Alegre, in southern Brazil, and grew up in a working class neighbourhood. At university, Scott was an active member of the student political movement and was also involved in Brazil’s re-democratisation process.
For ten years he taught law at university in Porto Alegre. He has now published four books of fiction and four of poetry. He also translates from English. He moved to Rio de Janeiro in 2008 to focus on writing full-time.
- Translated by Daniel Hahn.
- Read more about Nowhere People, and an extract from the book, in the book section.
- Paulo Scott will be visiting the UK and US in August / September next year, so if you are keen to organise an event at your bookshop or venue, let us know.
- If you had subscribed to And Other Stories before this book’s publication, you would have received the first edition of the book – in which all subscribers are thanked by name – before its official publication, as well us up to 5 other And Other Stories titles per year. Find out about subscribing to upcoming titles here.
- More information about the original Brazilian edition of the book, called Habitante Irreal, here on Paulo Scott’s website. The novel has also been published by the brilliant independent publisher Wagenbach Verlag in Germany as Unwirkliche Bewohner.
- Translator Daniel Hahn writes about the joys and challenges of translating Nowhere People for the highly respected journal Asymptote.
- Nowhere People makes Booktrust‘s Best of 2014 Translated Fiction list.
- Featured on BBC Radio 4’s Open Book. Listen Here.
Praise for Nowhere People
- ‘A powerful, complex and very ambitious voice. In the contemporary Latin American literature scene, Paulo Scott is a must-read.’ Juan Pablo Villalobos, author of Down the Rabbit Hole and Quesadillas
- Scott captures a wide range of Brazilians caught up in the flux of rapid modernisation, as he traces the story of Paulo and Maina, and their son Donato, who grows up to become an internet phenomenon as he stands, in a wooden mask, protesting outside a Sheraton Hotel. Jane Ciabattari, BBC Culture
- ‘Paulo Scott is one of the best novelists of his generation and is going to surprise us in the future. Of all the novels of the last five years, I really love Nowhere People. It is one hell of a book.’ João Gilberto Noll, Posfácio
- ‘Nowhere People highlights issues faced by indigenous Brazilians’. The Herald (Glasgow)
- ‘One of Scott’s many merits is to show daring, on many levels. Scott is not afraid to create one of the most interesting voices in recent fiction. And that is the voice of a Guarani Indian girl. Maína is far from the stereotypes of the “noble savage” that orientate our literature and culture. Maína speaks.’ O Globo
- ‘Immensely powerful. […] This novel tackles post-dictatorship Brazilian ideologies better than anything else in fiction.’ O Estado de São Paulo
- ‘Nowhere People is an inexhaustible font of surprises that the author’s firm hand manages to harmonise.’ Rascunho
- ‘Nowhere People is not your average book.’ Folha de São Paulo
- ‘A lush postmodern spin on the intergenerational state-of-the-nation saga… Daniel Hahn’s translation of this somersaulting, playful, emotionally pummelling and occasionally oblique novel is, one assumes, a feat of ventriloquism and linguistic plate-spinning: Nowhere People weighs in at only 300 pages, but contains multitudes’. Booktrust
- ‘An introduction, through [protagonist] Paulo’s eyes, to the complex issues surrounding race and class in modern day Brazil. Post-World Cup 2014, the details here feel particularly resonant.’ Maria-Luisa Meredith, Buzz
- ‘It is powerfully but sympathetically written, with an engaging cast of characters. Another fascinating work from the crowd funded house of And Other Stories’. Journal of the Law Society of Scotland
- ‘Stands out not just through its confrontation with its subject matter, but through Scott’s particular style of writing … Nowhere People is an uncomfortable and strangely brilliant social history of post-dictatorship Brazil, chronicling the young left’s fears after the honeymoon period of civilian rule, alongside the continuing prejudices against its indigenous tribes.’ David Faulds, The Literateur
- ‘This raw and passionate tale set in Brazil about love, loss and family explores the sharply contrasting worlds of Sao Paulo’s wealthy young people and the people of the dispossessed Guarani tribe … a classic in the making.’ The National, Abu Dhabi
- ‘Embodiment of the complex relationship between upper-middle-class politics and impoverished, indigenous culture’ Kirkus
- ‘[A] literary hand-grenade…a series of meditations on revolution, on homes, and on love in the form of an energetic and wide-flung story tracking two people and the lives they collide with.’ Brooklyn Rail
- ‘The And Other Stories machine often seems unstoppable. Like Marvel Studios, they have reached a point where their brand seems to almost guarantee success. It would be easy, then, for them to rest on their laurels and start pumping stuff out. Fortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case….Nowhere People is a novel that, the moment you put it down, demands to be reread’. Matt Todd, A Novel Approach
- ‘Nowhere People is a provocative and interesting read, and feels timely given the focus on corruption and waste in Brazilian politics after the World Cup protests … Overall, this is another great release from And Other Stories.’ Thom Cuell, workshyfop
- ‘The major achievement is the creation of the character and voice of Maína, the young girl who is deracinated by her encounters with ‘Western’ civilisation. The other achievement is that skill with which Scott retains our attention and interest in the two, across decades and continents against a background of post-dictatorship Brazil and Thatcher-ruled London. It is the ultimate expression of everyone’s need for a real home.’ Michael Johnston, Akanos
- ‘Nowhere People is, I think, an exceptional book. It’s a clever, thoughtful, beautifully written, perceptive telling of a story that hasn’t been told before. (I hope you’ll read it when it’s out and I hope you’ll agree.)’ Daniel Hahn, Asymptote
- ‘An audacious story, the novel fizzes with anger’ Richard Lea, The Guardian
- ‘Contemporary Brazil is kaleidoscopically diverse, and Scott takes up the messy human dramas that ensue when these disparate worlds collide in today’s hyperconnected, mobile society.’ Adam Morris, Times Literary Supplement
- ‘Nowhere People by Paulo Scott (And Other Stories) stands way out among the books I read in 2014. It’s the kind of novel you read and already look forward to reading it again although it makes such a painful read … a great example of the possibility of political engagement through literature, a reminder of one of the worst crimes in the history of mankind, the crime of displacing and annihilating indigenous people around the globe. Read this if you don’t mind crying.’ Alexandra Büchler, director of Literature Across Frontiers, PEN Atlas, Best Books in Translation 2014
- ‘Short, shocking, lyrical, and very modern novel, Nowhere People is one of 2014’s most exciting releases in any language … bold, fragmentary, funny and sad, it reproduces the texture of contemporary life with irony and love, and deals with the last two decades of the twentieth century in a way that’s all about the twenty-first.’ Booktrust, Best Translated Books of 2014
- ‘Scott writes with a fitful, kinetic energy, even a certain fury, as his novel leapfrogs between Brazilian social classes … A revolutionary new work of Brazilian literature … The book’s translation, by Daniel Hahn, is in itself a wondrous feat.’ Words Without Borders
- ‘Original as well as reminiscent of the modernist masters. It seems Scott is keen to communicate the overwhelming emotions and unsettledness that preoccupy his characters…There is a strong sense of authenticity as the intrinsic connection between the author and his protagonists shines through. Despite cool, polite detachment the story is not without blood and guts. In fact, political argument and passion are well balanced. Overall, this novel is highly engaging, heartfelt and beautifully written.’ Writers’ Hub