Nelson Rodrigues

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Nelson Falcão Rodrigues (August 23, 1912 – December 21, 1980) was a Brazilian playwright, journalist and novelist. In 1943, he helped usher in a new era in Brazilian theater with his play Vestido de Noiva (The Wedding Dress), considered revolutionary for the complex exploration of its characters' psychology and its use of colloquial dialog. He went on to write many other seminal plays and today is widely regarded as Brazil's greatest playwright.

Early life and work

Nelson Rodrigues was born on August 23, 1912 in Recife, the capital of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco (Northeast of Brazil), to Mario Rodrigues, a journalist, and his wife, Maria Esther Falcão. In 1916, the family moved to Rio de Janeiro after Mario ran into trouble for criticizing a powerful local politician. In Rio, Mario rose through the ranks of one of the city's major newspaper and, in 1925, launched his own newspaper, a sensationalist daily. By fourteen Nelson was covering the police beat for his father; by fifteen he had dropped out of school; and by sixteen he was writing his own column. The family's economic situation improved steadily, allowing them to move from lower-middle class Zona Norte to what was then the exclusive neighborhood of Copacabana.

In less than two years the family's fortunes would be reversed spectacularly. In 1929, older brother Roberto, a talented graphic artist, was shot and killed at the newspaper offices by a society lady who objected to the salacious coverage of...
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