Reading period: 4 months (July-October 2019)

Our Portuguese reading group is back for a second consecutive year and will be discovering some of the best recent books published in the Portuguese language from around the globe.

Following on from last year’s all-Brazilian reading list, this year’s selection spans three continents, transporting readers to Brazil, Mozambique, Cape Verde and Portugal, and takes in fiction and non-fiction. First, we have Ricardo Lísias’s A vista particular, a riotous and timely exploration of our sensationalist society which centres on an up-and-coming Brazilian artist and parodies the 19th century serialised novel; next, we have Isabela Figueiredo’s Caderno de memórias coloniais, a moving and brutal account of the author’s early years spent in Mozambique that exposes long-standing myths about Portugal’s colonial past; then, it’s Joaquim Arena’s Debaixo da nossa pele, both a personal exploration of his Cape Verdean heritage and a wider look at prominent – and often overlooked – black figures in European history, written in an itinerant style that has been likened to W.G. Sebald; finally, we have Teresa Veiga’s Gente Melancolicamente Louca, the latest collection of short stories by the three-time winner of the Grande Prémio de Conto Camilo Castelo Branco – Portugal’s most prestigious short story prize – and an undisputed master of the form. Below, you’ll find further information on the books selected and links to discover more about the authors.

We hope you’ll join us in reading these wonderful books. Please feel free to get in touch by adding your comments to the author pages. We’d love to see you at our meet-ups around the UK and North America too!

How it works

1. To read the whole book, you please order the books yourself from a shop or library if you can. If you have trouble finding a title, we may be able to lend you a copy – email to be put in touch with the organiser, letting us know where you live.

2. Read the books, then add your thoughts in the comments below.

3. Join us at a meet-up in the US or UK to discuss what we have read. You can be sure of lively, well informed discussion.

Where and when

Reading Period:

July – October 2019


US meeting(s): contact to be put in touch with our US group’s organiser Bruna Dantas Lobato, if you’re interested in meeting up in person or a Skype discussion.

US meeting: 12.30pm to 2pm on Saturday, 9th November at American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) conference, Rochester, USA

Skype Meeting: 2pm EST on Sunday, 17th November.

UK meeting(s): contact to be put in touch with our UK group’s organiser Victor Meadowcroft, if you’re interested in meeting in UK locations.

London Meeting: 6.30pm on Wednesday, 22nd October at Three Kings pub, 7 Clerkenwell Close, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0DY.

Portugal meeting(s):contact to be put in touch with our Portugal group’s organiser Jethro Soutar.

Portugal Meeting: Wednesday 6th, November 2019 at Ler por aí… Book shop, Rua Jacinta Marto 10B, 50-192 Lisbon, Portugal

Thanks to support from Arts Council England, we can subsidise travel to the UK meet-ups. Please get in touch via if that would help.

Ricardo Lísias

A Vista Particular (The Private View)

Isabela Figueiredo

Caderno de Memorias Coloniais (Notebook of Colonial Memories)

Teresa Veiga
Author: Teresa Veiga

Gente Melancolicamente Louca (Melancholically Mad People)

Joaquim Arena
Author: Joaquim Arena

Debaixo da Nossa Pele (Under Our Skin)

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