My thanks go ﬁrst to Bruna Veríssimo, for her art of conversation,
her patience, her quiet contemplation of what is important in life,
and her penchant for ﬁnding moments of joy, despite all odds.
The H. F. Guggenheim Foundation supported this project—‘‘as an
experiment,’’ in the words of one representative; I am very grateful
that they took the risk and hope not to have let them down.
Keith Hart has been my mentor in anthropology and writing for
more than a decade. He helped me with this work from long before
I knew what it would be about.
Roshila Nair, Zildo Rocha, Enrico Mario Santí, Paula Fass, and
João Biehl all oﬀered valuable criticism on parts of the book or the
work as a whole.
And my thanks to Isabel Balseiro for all that life.