Afonso Henriques de Lima Barreto was a Brazilian novelist and short story writer. The son of first- and second-generation freed slaves, he was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1881, in the tumultuous decade that saw the abolition of slavery in Brazil and the formation of the First Republic. He worked as a civil servant and journalist, both of which provided him with a rich source of material for the satirical writings that brought him fame, as well as a platform for his political activism. Published in serial form in the prominent periodicals of his time, Barreto's novels are now placed amongst Latin America's finest. He died in 1922.