Have you ever read a book by a Portuguese author?


By Sofia Pereira Sá

On World Book Day, we often celebrate the great names of Portuguese literature, such as Fernando Pessoa, Luís de Camões, or José Saramago (a Nobel Prize winner). But there are many more brilliant Portuguese storytellers.

If you want to find out more about (translated) Portuguese literature, this article is for you.

Reading is my long-time passion. As Fernando Pessoa would say – “Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life”. I would humbly add that books trigger our imagination by taking us to places we have never visited, by showing us things we have never experienced, or times we have never lived.

Books are undoubtedly our best friends in these strange lockdown times (certainly accompanied by Gorreana tea and pastéis de nata, if possible).

Here is a list of great Portuguese books I would recommend.

“The Accidental Biography of a Love Affair” – João Tordo
“The Land at the End of the World” – António Lobo Antunes
“The Sibyl" - Agustina Bessa-Luís

Young authors
“O Meu Irmão” – Afonso Reis Cabral (my review)
(translated to Italian – “Mio fratello”)

“The Book of Disquiet” – Fernando Pessoa
“Os Maias” – Eça de Queiroz
“Lucio's Confession” - Mário de Sá-Carneiro

Selected Poems – Fernando Pessoa

Nobel Prize
“Blindness” – José Saramago (my review)

For children
“The Girl from the Sea and other stories” – Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen

About our history
“A People's History of the Portuguese Revolution” – Raquel Varela

If you are an Italian, Spanish or French speaker…and are brave enough to read the originals in Portuguese, please give it a try. You would be surprised to see how written Portuguese is easier to understand than the spoken language. Start with “easier” books such as the children’s books by Sophia de Mello Breyner.

If these books aren’t your cup of tea, no problem! Just read any other. The most important thing is that you keep travelling through the medium of storytelling; the important thing is that by reading, you keep on dreaming.

Enjoy your readings!