João Guimarães Rosa was born in Cordisburgo, Brazil, in 1908. Renowned for the innovation he brought to Brazilian literature, he was one of the country’s most original and inventive writers of all time. He completed a degree in medicine and worked as a doctor until 1934, when he embarked on a diplomatic career. His literary debut was the collection of short stories Sagarana, in 1946. Acclaim came ten years later with the publication of the novel Grande Sertão: Veredas, a watershed moment in the history of contemporary Brazilian literature. Also in 1956 he published the collection of short stories and novellas Corpo de baile, of which Grande Sertão: Veredas was originally intended to be a part, before it took on a life of its own. These were followed by two more volumes of short stories, Primeiras estórias (1962) and Tutameia (1967), and two books published posthumously: Estas histórias and Ave, palavra, both published in 1969. Unanimously elected to the Brazilian Academy of Letters in 1963, he didn’t assume his seat until 1967, just three days before he passed away, victim of a heart attack.