Phenotypes - Reading Guide
Explore our guide to Phenotypes, which the judges thought was a ‘remarkably open and honest study of race’ and find out what personal experiences drove the author to write it.
Paulo Scott delivers a smart and stylish account of the bigotry lurking in hearts and institutions alike. Translated by Daniel Hahn.
In this complex tale, two very different brothers of mixed Black and white heritage are divided by the colour of their skin, as racial tension rises in society and a guilty secret resurfaces from their shared past.
Paulo Scott here probes the old wounds of race in Brazil, and in particular the loss of a black identity independent from the history of slavery. Exploratory rather than didactic, a story of crime, street-life and regret as much as a satirical novel of ideas, Phenotypes is a seething masterpiece of rage and reconciliation.
About the AuthorPaulo Scott has published four books of fiction and four of poetry. He also translates from English.
In the initial conception, the intention was to write a novel, without easy answers, about anger in a society as unequal as Brazilian society.— Paulo Scott, author of Phenotypes
I think it’s a truly astonishing work, not just important for its subject and how that subject is handled, but also incredibly original and sophisticated as a work of literature.— Daniel Hahn, translator of Phenotypes