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Jose de Alencar's prose-poem Iracema, first published in 1865, is a classic of Brazilian literature-perhaps the most widely-known piece of fiction within Brazil, and the most widely-read of Alencar's many works. Set in the sixteenth century, it is an extremely romantic portrayal of a doomed love between a Portuguese soldier and an Indian maiden. Iracema reflects the gingerly way that mid-nineteenth cenury Brazil dealt with race mixture and multicultural experience. Precisely because of its nineteenth-century romanticism, Iracema strongly contributed to a Brazilian sense of nationhood - contemporary Brazilian writers and literary critics still cite it as a foundation for their own work.