Biography

Isabela Figueiredo is a writer, journalist and teacher who was born in Lourenço Marques (Maputo) to Portuguese parents in 1963. After Mozambique became independent in 1975, Figueiredo moved to Portugal where she later studied Languages and Modern Literature at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, before specialising in Women’s Studies at the Universidade Aberta (Open University). Between 1988 and 1994 she worked as a journalist for the Diário de Notícias, where she was also coordinator of the youth supplement, DN Jovem. Her published works include Conto É Como Quem Diz (A Tale Is Something Told), winner of the Mostra Portuguesa de Artes e Ideias prize in 1988, and A Gorda (The Fat Woman), a heavily autobiographical novel released in 2016 and considered a book of the year by O Público, one of Portugal’s leading dailies, as well as being awarded the Prémio Literário Urbano Tavares Rodrigues in 2017. In between, Figueiredo published a memoir of her childhood in Africa, called Caderno de Memórias Coloniais, which caused a great deal of controversy for exposing many of the long-standing myths that had arisen around Portugal’s colonial past. The book has since been acknowledged as having played a crucial role in shifting the paradigm of Portuguese post-colonial literature.

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