The masterpiece of Susana Moreira Marques”Now and at the hour of our death”, a life and death reportage work set in a village in northern Portugal, exemplifies the best contemporary Portuguese writing available in translation. As for poetry, “Cape Verde Blues”, by Shauna Barbosa, will give you an idea of the multifaceted character of Cape Verdean culture in the diaspora. †What’s in a name†” by the great Ana Luísa Amaral, will prompt you to look with wonder at the details of everyday life.
What books can give me a sense of life under the dictatorship of António de Oliveira Salazar?
The regime established by Salazar in 1933 lasted until 1974. †The Three Marys: New Portuguese Letters,† by Maria Isabel Barreno, Maria Velho da Costa and Maria Teresa Horta, is a bold and whimsical collective work against fascism. When it was published, it was deemed “pornographic and a threat to public morality” and prompted the government to take the authors to court. †Empty cupboards† a novel by Maria Judite de Carvalho, gives you a sense of domestic life under dictatorship: in precise, unsentimental prose, it tells the story of three generations of women overshadowed by the death of a patriarch.
What books can give me an idea of the city’s colonial past?
The Portuguese Empire, which included colonies in the Americas, Asia, and Africa, was also one of the most enduring. His legacy is still alive in Lisbon today.
To see it, you can go to Cova da Moura, home to a large community of migrants from Cape Verde, Angola and Guinea-Bissau, among others, and visit Tooth zonea bookshop and screen printing workshop where you’ll find a carefully curated selection of books about the city’s colonial past and works by great authors of African descent.
If you want to read more about this topic, there are many books and authors to choose from. †south of nowhere† one of António Lobo Antunes’ masterpieces, is a tense monologue told by an Angolan war veteran to a lonely woman he meets in a bar. A prose poem addressed to a silent interlocutor, and a memoir of the horrors of war witnessed by the author himself, it’s a wonderful book to begin with.
Dulce Maria Cardosos “The return” begins in Angola in 1975. The Salazar dictatorship has collapsed and the defeat of the Portuguese in the Angolan War of Independence is in sight. The narrator, Rui, is 15 years old. He is one of thousands of settlers returning to Portugal, a place he has never been to. The novel gives you an idea of the contradictions and mythologies that played out during the Carnation Revolution, which led to the end of the dictatorship in 1974.