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Moacyr Scliar says of himself that he is a writer, doctor and Jew which only goes to show what a burden a human being is able to carry around with him. Born in Porto Alegre, in southern Brazil, in 1937, Scliar studied medicine and worked as a doctor in the public health service until retirement. In 2003 he was elected member of the Academia Brasileira das Letras. His award-winning works, which include novellas, short stories, books for young readers, and novels and have been translated into numerous languages, have earned him a place among Latin America s most important contemporary writers. Best known for the novel O centauro no Jardim (1980; translated as The Centaur in the Garden, 1985), he published A guerra no Bom Fim, his first novel, in 1972.David William Foster is the Regents Professor of Spanish and Women and Gender Studies at Arizona State University and the author of numerous works on Latino literature and culture."