Lota de Macedo Soares
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Maria Carlota Costallat de Macedo Soares (March 16, 1910 – September 25, 1967) was a well-connected Brazilian architect who was invited to design and oversee the construction of Flamengo Park in Rio de Janeiro. She was born in Paris, a member of a prominent political family in Rio de Janeiro state.
Lota, as she was known, had a relationship with the American poet Elizabeth Bishop from 1951 to 1967. Bishop dedicated her 1965 volume of poems Questions of Travel to her. Their relationship is depicted in the Brazilian film Reaching for the Moon, based on the book Flores Raras e Banalíssimas (in English, Rare and Commonplace Flowers), by Carmen Lucia de Oliveira, as well as in the book The More I Owe You, by American author Michael Sledge.
In 1967, Soares joined Bishop in New York, after a period of extensive hospitalization for a nervous breakdown. The same day she arrived in New York, 19 September 1967, Soares took an overdose of tranquilizers. She died several days later.
Her relationship with Elizabeth Bishop and with the politician Carlos Lacerda, as well as her involvement in the 1964 Brazilian coup d'état, is the subject of the 2013 film Flores Raras (Reaching for the Moon), directed by Bruno Barreto and starring Gloria Pires.
For more information
- Lloyd Schwartz, "Elizabeth Bishop and Brazil," The New Yorker, September 30, 1991
- Brett Millier, Elizabeth Bishop: Life and the Memory of It, University of California Press, 1995
- Elizabeth Bishop, One Art: Letters. Ed. Robert Giroux (New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1994).
- Carmen L. Oliveira, Rare and Commonplace Flowers: The Story of Elizabeth Bishop and Lota de Macedo Soares, translated by Neil K. Besner, (Rutgers University Press, 2002); reviewed by Emily Nussbaum 
- Schuma Schumacher and Érico Vital Brasil, eds. Dicionário Mulheres do Brasil (Rio de Janeiro: Jorge Zahar Editora, 2000), pp. 335-336.
- Michael Sledge, "The More I Owe You." (Berkeley: Counterpoint Press, 2010).
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