Rui Zink was born in Lisbon in 1961. He is a writer, university lecturer and cultural commentator. He has published eight novels including his debut Hotel Lusitano (1987, re-released in 2011), Os Surfistas (The Surfers, 2001), Dádiva divina (Gift from God, which won the 2005 Portuguese PEN Club prize) and O Destino Turístico (The Tourist Destination, 2008). He also writes children’s books, of which O bebé que …não gostava de televisão (The boy who did not like television, 2004) has been translated into English. His story ‘O bicho da escrita’ (The writing bug) was shortlisted for the Pushcart Prize. He was also included in the Best European Fiction 2012 (Dalkey Archive Press).
Zink has translated Matt Groening (The Simpsons), Saul Bellow and Richard Zenith into Portuguese. On translation, he said: ‘Translation is the best form of reading. It’s a re-writing of the book. As plagiarism is illegal, or immoral at least, translating allows me to ride along on the words of the writers I most love, without being taken to court.’
In Portugal, Zink is a well-known television personality, having been part of the popular TV show Noites de Má Lingua (Back Stabbing Nights). He is a cartoon aficionado and has written a thesis on comic books as literature.
Featured Reading Group Title
O Destino Turístico (The Tourist Destination)
A man is going to spend a week in a war zone, with full board and lodging. There is a growing demand for this tourist industry, for paradises of horror. And the destination does not disappoint: there are bombs, kidnappings, attempted killings, surface-to-air missiles, mothers holding their children in their arms, executions, etc. There is even a leggy female journalist and a swimming pool full of piranhas. But this Western tourist is still not satisfied . . .
- O Destino Turístico was featured in our Portugese Reading Group for Autumn 2011.
- Translation sample by Margaret Jull Costa is available at Transcript.
- If you’ve read the book or translated extract, let us know what you think by commenting below.