Zélia Gattai and Jorge Amado were two Brazilian writers who lived one of the most beautiful and lasting love stories in literature. They met in 1945, in Rio de Janeiro, when both were militants of the Brazilian Communist Party. Zélia was 32 years old and married to writer Aldo Veiga, with whom she had a son. Jorge was 33 years old and the widower of Matilde Garcia Rosa, with whom he had a daughter.
The meeting was marked by a strong mutual attraction, which soon turned into passion. Zélia separated from her husband and Jorge asked her to marry him. They were married in 1948 in Paris, where they lived in exile because of political persecution in Brazil. From then on, a life of complicity, adventure and literary creation began.
Zélia accompanied Jorge on his travels around the world, getting to know different cultures and personalities. She also dedicated herself to her own work, writing books of memoirs, novels and short stories. His first book, Anarchists, Thanks to God, was published in 1979 and was a great success. In it, she narrates her childhood in São Paulo, in a family of anarchist Italian immigrants.
Jorge was one of the most important and popular Brazilian writers, author of works such as Gabriela, Cravo e Canela, Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos and Capitães da Areia. He masterfully portrayed the culture, history and people of Bahia, his homeland. He was also a defender of human rights, democracy and freedom.
Zélia and Jorge lived together for 56 years, until his death in 2001. They had two children: João Jorge and Paloma. They built a house in Salvador, where they received friends, artists and intellectuals from all over the world. The house is now the headquarters of the Casa de Jorge Amado Foundation, which preserves and promotes the couple's legacy.
Zélia died in 2008, aged 91, leaving behind a work of 14 published books. She also left an example of love, loyalty and partnership with Jorge Amado. They were a couple who loved each other intensely, respected each other deeply and supported each other. They were a couple who made literature a way of expressing their worldview and their passion for life.