Paulo Scott

Nowhere People

Winner of the Machado de Assis Prize

Driving home, law student Paulo passes a figure at the side of the road. The indigenous girl stands in the heavy rain, as if waiting for something. Paulo gives her a lift to her family’s roadside camp.

With sudden shifts in the characters’ lives, this novel takes in the whole story: telling of love, loss and family, it spans the worlds of São Paulo’s rich kids and dispossessed Guarani Indians along Brazil’s highways. One man escapes into an immigrant squatter’s life in London, while another’s performance activism leads to unexpected fame on Youtube.

Written from the gut, Nowhere People is a raw and passionate classic in the making, about our need for a home.

Read an Excerpt
EBook: £5

More Info

  • If you had subscribed to And Other Stories before this book went to the printers, you would have received the first edition of the book – in which all subscribers are thanked by name – before it’s 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 Asymptote
  • Nowhere People made World Literature Today‘s list of Notable Translations in 2014, and Booktrust’s Best of 2014 Translated Fiction list.
  • Featured on BBC Radio 4’s Open Book. Listen Here.
  • Read your way around São Paulo with Paulo Scott in the New York Times, here.
Print status: Available
Author: Paulo Scott
Translator: Daniel Hahn
Original language: Portuguese
Format: B-format paperback with flaps
Publication date: 7 August 2014
ISBN: 9781908276384
Ebook ISBN: 9781908276391
Availability: World
Number of pages: 320


O Estado de São Paulo

‘Immensely powerful. […] This novel tackles post-dictatorship Brazilian ideologies better than anything else in fiction.’


‘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’

Alexandra Büchler, director of Literature Across Frontiers
English PEN

Nowhere People by Paulo Scott 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. Translated from the Brazilian Portuguese by Daniel Hahn, it is an innovative and emphatic j’accuse by a former lawyer and activist, 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.’