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Diary of Life in a Favela

Carolina Maria de Jesus's diary, published in 1960, was a shocking account of the realities of slum life in São Paulo. It was a huge success and turned her into a celebrity.

A poor single mother of three, Carolina Maria de Jesus lived in a derelict shack and spent her days scavenging for food for her children, doing odd jobs and collecting paper and bottles. Her diary, written between 1955 and 1960, brought to life the harsh realities faced by thousands of poor Brazilians who arrived in cities like São Paulo and Rio looking for better opportunities. Her daughter, Vera Eunice de Jesus Lima, speaks to Thomas Pappon about how the book changed her family's life.

Picture: Carolina Maria de Jesus in the Canindé Favela. Credit: Archive Audálio Dantas

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9 minutes

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