Welcoming the Marcelo Mirisola Papers

It is with pride and excitement that we announce the acquisition of the Marcelo Mirisola Papers – an archival collection that comprises 5 boxes of materials produced in the Portuguese language by renowned contemporary Brazilian author Marcelo Rizzo Mirisola during the first 15 years of his writing career (1989–2004). This acquisition marks a significant moment in our library’s commitment to preserving literary legacies while fostering values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Born in São Paulo in 1966 of parents of Italian descent, Mirisola is known for his innovative and comic writing style as well as for his ingenious interplay between autobiography and fiction. Besides being inspired by Brazilian authors such as Machado de Assis, Marcia Denser, and Dalton Trevisan, his literary influences include American icons such as Charles Bukowski, John Fante, Jack Kerouac, Henry Miller, and Philip Roth, as well as the European writers Georges Bataille, Thomas Bernhard, and Louis-Ferdinand Céline. The Bible is also a significant source of inspiration for Mirisola. 

With over 20 books published since his debut – the collection of short stories Fátima fez os pés para mostrar na choperia (1998) – Mirisola has captivated a small but loyal audience of Brazilian readers. His literary input includes short stories, novels, chronicles, theater pieces, and also partnerships with outstanding Brazilian cartoonists. 

Known for his colloquial style, thought-provoking non-conformist stand, and erotic verve, Mirisola has also been a regular presence in important magazines and Brazilian newspapers such as Folha de São Paulo and Estado de São Paulo. He has also written for some prestigious online outlets, such as the Brazilian branch of Yahoo and the political site Congresso em Foco.

One of Mirisola's most recent books, Quanto custa um elefante? (The Price of an Elephant), opens with the narrator’s meeting with the Devil – an encounter he seeks after a love affair goes awry. The plot takes place in Rio de Janeiro and develops against a background of references to Afro-Brazilian religious practices and Brazilian places and pop culture.

Typed sheet with Padaria e Confeitaria Pirâmide-Luminosa, S.A., an unpublished short story, written circa 1991

Padaria e Confeitaria Pirâmide-Luminosa, S.A. (unpublished short story, circa 1991)


This archival collection offers a unique glimpse into the creative process of Marcelo Mirisola, and includes handwritten and typed manuscripts, sketches and annotations, letter exchanges with fellow authors and publishers, newspaper interviews, book release invitations, reviews, and more. 

Self portrait, undated


Draft page of Joana a Contragosto, typewritten

Draft page of Joana a Contragosto (published in 2005)


Mirisola, letter to editor (2000)

Letter to editor (2000)

In the last months we embarked on the creation of a finding-aid with the goal of ensuring that researchers of Brazilian and Latin American Literatures and Cultures will have access to this unique collection. The finding-aid is now available.  

As of May 2024, the U-M Library holds 22 titles published by Marcelo Mirisola – including his only work translated into English so far, Joana Against my Will (2012).