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Synopsis

Most of us will never experience what young Valdeck Almeida de Jesus experienced. From falling into a cesspool and playing among garbage to collecting bones to sell and avoiding snakes on his walk to school, Valdeck recounts his family's hard life day by agonizing day in this moving memoir.

Translated from Portuguese, Memories from Brazilian Hell follows Valdeck, his parents, and his seven brothers and sisters as they survived poverty, class and racial marginalization, debilitating health problems, and financial crises while living in the Bahian region of Brazil. Amidst these hardships, they struggled to meet their basic human needs for shelter, food, and medical and dental care.

Despite the overwhelming odds, Valdeck and his family spectacularly overcame the obstacles they faced. Without losing faith in the future, despite uncertainty and doubt, every member of the Almeida family achieved his or her goals; each making a mark on the world. As Valdeck's history unfolds, his story becomes one of self-realization, knowledge, and empowerment.

Valdeck's memories are infused with hope and illustrate that if anguished Brazilians can believe in their country and be resilient, they can fight for and achieve their ideals. This book gives voice to all those who have suffered society's inequities.

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