|Jorge Amado (whose last name translates as "Beloved") grew up on a cacao plantation in Brazil, and much of his early writing reflects his firsthand knowledge of the appalling conditions under which the plantation workers lived. Amado worked as a journalist as a young man, and suffered for his outspoken radical politics; he was imprisoned in 1935, and was forced into exile several times. In the mid-1940s, he served in the Brazilian parliament as a member of the Communist party, at which time he also began to write novels; eventually, he said, he had to choose between politics and literature, and unhesitatingly chose the latter, believing that the world didn't need more politicians but that there were not enough writers. His unvarying concerns have been support for the poor and downtrodden and a deep sympathy with women characters--unusual in the macho society of much of Brazil. Amado became so revered in Brazil as a writer that restaurants, whiskeys, and grocery products were named after his characters; his most celebrated works are DONA FLOR AND HER TWO HUSBANDS and GABRIELA, CLOVE AND CINNAMON. He was married for 56 years to Z?lia Gettai (also a writer) with whom he had a son and a daughter. At his death, the president of Brazil declared a three-day period of mourning.