Dom Casmurro is considered a masterpiece of realist literature and is widely regarded as one of the best Brazilian novels. Machado de Assis (pictured) was born 1839 in Rio de Janeiro to the son of freed slaves and a Portuguese washerwoman. He wrote poems, plays and novels and spoke English, French, German and Greek in addition to his native Portuguese. His works greatly influenced Brazilian literature and is widely read in schools. He is considered to be the greatest writer of Brazilian literature! "Saudade" can be roughly translated to "nostalgia" or "wistful longing for a past time or person."