Brazilian literature is the literature written in the Portuguese language by Brazilians or in Brazil, including works written prior to the country's independence in 1822. Throughout its early years, literature from Brazil followed the literary trends of Portugal, whereas gradually shifting to a different and authentic writing style in the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, in the search for truly Brazilian themes and use of Brazilian forms.
Portuguese is a Romance language and the sole official language of Brazil. Lyrically, the poet Olavo Bilac, named it " (...) desconhecida e obscura./ Tuba de alto clangor, lira singela,/ Que tens o trom e o silvo da procela,/ E o arrolo da saudade e da ternura! ", which roughly translates as "(...) unknown and obscure,/ Tuba of high blare, delicate lyre,/ That holds the frill and the hiss of the tempest/ And the singing of the saudade and of the tenderness!"
Brazil's most significant literary award is the Camões Prize, which it shares with the rest of the Portuguese-speaking world. As of 2016, Brazil has eleven recipients of the prize. Brazil also holds its own literary academy, the Brazilian Academy of Letters, a non-profit cultural organization pointed in perpetuating the care of the national language and literature.
Brazilian literature has been very prolific. Having as birth the letter of Pero Vaz de Caminha, the document that marks the discovery of Brazil, the country's literature has encompassed several significant writers. Major figures include novelists Machado de Assis, Guimarães Rosa, Jorge Amado, Clarice Lispector and Graciliano Ramos; poets such as João Cabral de Melo Neto, Mario de Andrade, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Vinicius de Moraes, Ferreira Gullar and Manuel Bandeira; dramatists like Nelson Rodrigues and Augusto Boal, and literary critics and theorists as Antonio Candido and Otto Maria Carpeaux, among others.