Alexandra Lucas Coelho



Alexandra Lucas Coelho was born in Lisbon in December of 1967. After studying theatre, she graduated with a degree in Communication from Universidade Nova de Lisboa. She worked in broadcasting for nearly ten years, including several years at Radio Portugal, and in 1998 she became a journalist at the Portuguese daily national newspaper Público, as a reporter and editor for various cultural supplements. She has won journalism awards from the Clube Português de Imprensa and Casa da Imprensa and the Grande Prémio Gazeta 2005.

In 2001 Alexandra began traveling regularly to the Middle East and Central Asia, and in 2005-2006 she spent six months as a foreign correspondent, based in Jerusalem. These experiences were the basis for her first two books, Oriente Próximo (Near East) and Caderno Afegão (Afghan Notebook). Viva México, published in 2010, covers her trip across Mexico. Other travel writing includes Do Rio de Janeiro (From Rio de Janeiro) and Tahrir! Os Dias da Revolução (Tahrir! The Days of the Revolution). Her first novel, E a noite roda (And the Night Passes), was published in 2012.

Featured Reading Group Title:

Viva México

Viva México

Viva México is journalist Alexandra Lucas Coelho’s personal account of a three-week trip across Mexico, from the deserts of Chihuahua to the jungles of the Yucatan. The book weaves together a series of articles originally written for the Portuguese daily newspaper Público, as well as a handful of previously unpublished pieces.

Her journey starts in giant Mexico City, where she explores the city’s complex past and uncertain future as it prepares for anniversary celebrations of its independence. From there she moves to the violent reality of Ciudad Juárez, then the South, a region that at first glance appears peaceful, but shares its own stories of death and injustice. As she travels, the more she learns about this country of contrasts between la muerte and fiesta, the more she realizes how impossible it is to uncover the Mexico “of today” without also looking at both past and future. She invites the reader along with her, exploring the many shades of this vast country through the people she meets and her personal experiences, with a solid, narrative style.


More information:

  • This title features as part of our autumn 2013 Portuguese reading group.
  • Download an extract of Viva México translated by Zoe Perry.

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