Maria Souza Hogan
Club of Stars, a Samba of Survival in the Slums of Brazil
Maria Souza Hogan was the eleventh of fourteen children born to a mother who gave birth to her first child at age fifteen. Her family endured dire poverty throughout her childhood and adolescence. She spent her early childhood in a small Brazilian town, Castro Alves, before moving to the slums of Salvador, capital of the State of Bahia in northeastern Brazil. Maria never had running water or basic sanitation, but she nevertheless excelled in school, and was the only member of her family to attend college. In 1978, after graduating from a Brazilian university with a bachelor’s degrees in French and Portuguese, she left to study in the United States. Maria earned a Ph.D. in Hispanic Literatures and Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She lives in West Hartford, Connecticut, and teaches Spanish at Litchfield High School.