16 februari: intriguing voices from Portugal

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Intriguing voices from Portugal

Annelies Beck will talk to Pedro Rosa Mendes, Dulce Maria Cardoso and José Luís Peixoto, representatives of a remarkable generation of young Portuguese authors. Born when Portugal still had colonial territories, they have built up a much-acclaimed, widely-translated body of work, painting a diverse picture of the lives of past and present generations. Their writing cuts straight to the marrow.
Introduction of the evening by Harrie Lemmens.

Pedro Rosa Mendes
This Portuguese author started his career as a journalist, working mainly for thenewspaper Público  and the magazine Visão . Pedro Rosa Mendes is best known for his book Baía dos Tigres (translated into English as Bay of Tigers). The book is partly the result of a long trip that Mendes made in 1997 from Angola to Mozambique, an area scarred by the destruction caused during its civil war. The story is a mix of genres, finely balanced between the testimonies of local people, a travelogue and a novel. After it won the ‘Prémio Pen Club de Romance', the book was translated into 13 languages. Mendes does not confine himself  only to writing, but combines his artistery as well with other media. The results are a photo book O melhor Cafe, in which he published five short stories, and the photographic novel Atlântico-Romance fotográfico.

Dulce Maria Cardoso
This writer grew up in Angola, but settled permanently in Portugal in 1975. Her debut novel Campo de sangue appeared in French under the title Coeurs arrachés, her second novel Os meus sentimentos was an even greater success, with translations into both Dutch (Violeta en de Engelen) and French (Les anges, Violeta). What makes this novel so remarkable is both its surprising writing style (there are no full stops) and its touching theme of discrimination on the grounds of obesity. The book won Cardoso the European Union Prize for Literature and a successful film adaptation in France. Cardoso's books continue to appeal; her last novel O Chão dos Pardais, was also translated into Dutch (Keerzijde).

José Luís Peixoto
José Luís Peixoto, a graduate in Modern Languages and Literature (University of Lisbon), is a very prolific writer. Next to eight fictional works, he has also published several volumes of poetry. In 2001 he won the prestigious ‘Prémio Literário José Saramago' for his novel Nenhum Olhar (translated into Dutch as Blik and in English as Blank Gaze). In addition, this book was included in the Financial Times' list of best books published in England in 2007. The novel Cemitério de Pianos, translated into English as The Piano Cemetery, catalogues several generations of a carpenter's family in Lisbon. Peixoto is master storyteller with a fine eye for detail. All his books have enjoyed international recognition and have been translated into twenty languages.

ORG. Het beschrijf, Entrez Lire en coopération avec l' Ambassade du Portugal, avec le soutien de l'Instituto Camões et de la Banque BCP

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