Carolina Maria de Jesus

(1914 - 1977)

After moving to a São Paulo favela with her three children around 1955, Carolina Maria de Jesus—who had completed no more than two years of formal schooling in her home state of Minas Gerais, Brazil—began to keep a diary using paper salvaged from discarded notebooks. In 1958 she met a reporter who arranged to publish excerpts in a local newspaper, which led to the publication of her diary as a book in 1960. Although the royalties finally gave her the means to move out of the favela, she died in poverty in 1977.

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