Today I’m bringing a post that is a mix of an author interview with a new segment called Lost in Translation. I invited Brazilian author Solaine Chioro to talk a bit about her book, A Rosa de Isabela, an amazing diverse retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in Brazil. This story is only available in Portuguese on Amazon, but I thought it’d be interesting to bring this here and remind us that stories don’t exist just in English.
Q1: How was the process of rewriting such an epic fairytale like Beauty and the Beast to a Brazilian scenery?
I started writing A ROSA DE ISABELA as a writing exercise. I was challenging myself to write a short short story a week and I used a list of themes for each one, and one of those themes was writing a retelling of a fairy tale. Before I even figured out what story I was going to adapt, I knew I would write a version that would happen in Brazil. Our culture is very rich and I knew I would have material to work on some fairy tale, not to mention that I really love to see stories with this cultural touch so close to my reality. It all sort of fit in, you know? When I was developing the plot, I realized that it would be perfect if this story happened in the interior of São Paulo (in a fictional city very similar to the one where my father was born). It was not just with the scenario, the approach of the slavery past or the fact that I was inspired by creatures of our folklore – like Caipora and Curipira – to build what it would be the witch of Beauty and the Beast … Everything came to me with a lot of clarity and I think giving this very Brazilian brand to history make it better.