A Letter From São Paulo, Where the Definition of ‘Unbearable’ Has Shifted

As Brazil’s Death Count Rises, a Writer of Fantasies Embraces Realism in Quarantine

I’ve been training myself to be productive at home since I finished high school. The very idea of becoming a writer came from an interview with Patricia Highsmith that I read in the 1990s; the journalist described her life in a beautiful house near the mountains in Switzerland. Still a teenager, I thought this was the kind of life I wanted. Not necessarily Switzerland, I thought. A small apartment in the city could also satisfy my dreams of quietude, if I were able to work at home.

But my teenage dreams …