Our speaker is Julia Michaels.
Rio de Janeiro is undergoing a momentous transformation in the runup to the 2016 Olympics and the 2014 World Cup games. Recognizing this and identifying a need for bilingual evenhanded reporting on it, Julia Michaels quit her job in August 2010 as foreign non-fiction editor for a top Brazilian publishing house, and founded RioRealblog.
The blog quickly became a go-to source for Brazilians and foreigners interested in public safety, politics, investment, public policy, urban planning, real estate, education, transportation, health care, culture and more. The blog is often replayed on several sites, including the Christian Science Monitor. Michaels has been featured on ESPN’s Outside the Lines program, in Le Figaro’s weekend magazine, and in the Washington Post, among other media.
Born and bred in Boston, Michaels is in a unique position to serve her readers, having spent 31 years in Brazil. With an M.A. in international relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International relations, she married a Brazilian and arrived in São Paulo in 1981, where she worked a decade as a freelance print journalist. She reported for The Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age and The Christian Science Monitor, before turning to childrearing and fiction in the 1990s. In 2000 she earned a low-residencyMFA in literature and creative writing from Bennington College, going on to publish stories in the Ontario Review. After a divorce in 2005, she went to work at EditoraObjetiva, where she acquired Eat, Pray, Love and led its Portuguese translation to the Brazilian best-seller list, where stayed for several years.
Utilizing her journalism experience and her narrative skills, Michaels is the insider-outsider “explainer” that many readers seek today, to help them decipher Rio de Janeiro.