I've not read an enormous amount of Brazilian literature, but maybe because everyone else was looking at Latin American literature in Spanish, I looked at something else.
Clarice Lispector has been discussed quite a lot here already, but there are several other authors whose short-stories I've read: Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, Dalton Trevisan and Jo?o Guimar?es Rosa.
My forays into Brazilian literature were helped by the fact that Dutch translator August Willemsen translated all these authors and others over the years. So I've read them in Dutch, all except Clarice Lispector.
There are a lot of Machado de Assis books available in Dutch translation. I've read several stories and intend, one day to read his novel "Dom Casmurro". Carcanet published a collection of stories called "The Devil's Church and Other Stories". Machado Assis was an autodidact and read books by Swift, Sterne and Leopardi.
One of their main poets is called Carlos Drummond de Andrade. The "Drummond" is part of his Scottish ancestry.
As can be seen from Alfredo Bosi's "Hist?ria Concisa da Literatura Brasileira" (no, I haven't read it, but I bought it once hoping to one day know enough Portuguese to read it), Brazilian literature went through periods of Romanticism, Realism, Symbolism and Modernism, so is pretty European in its influences.
An excellent little guide to specific authors and books is "The Babel Guide to Brazilian Fiction in English Translation" compiled by David Treece and Ray Keenoy, Boulevard Books, 2001. Reviewed here are, by Machado de Assis alone:
Counselor Ayres' Memorial [novel]
Ther Devil's Church [stories]
Dom Casmurro [novel]
Epitaph of a Small Winner [novel]
Philosopher or Dog? [novel]
The Psychiatrist and Other Stories [stories]
Yay? Garcia [novel?]
And there are several further works by him in English translation, plus most of the other authors mentioned above, as well as the un-get-roundable contemporary author, Paolo Coelho, five of whose works are reviewed.