dijous, 11 de setembre de 2008

No silêncio de Deus, by Patricia Reis, already in bookshops

The new novel by Patrícia Reis, 'No silêncio de Deus' has been released in Portuguese bookshops today (Sept 11th).

Dom Quixote, its publisher, has also launched a promotional video that you can also see here:

dilluns, 8 de setembre de 2008

A beautiful article by Cynthia Ozick

The September issue of Standpoint Magazine (UK) contains a very beautiful and inspiring article by Cynthia Ozick entitled 'Writers, Visible and Invisible'
I am happily surprised by the fact that some of the things Ozick says have a lot to do with yesterday's post in this blog (the one about the article by Cuban author Ronaldo Menéndez)

Amongst other things Ozick says:
  "Writers’ invisibility has little or nothing to do with Fame, just as Fame has little or nothing to do with Literature. (...) What writers prize is simpler, quieter and more enduring than clamorous Fame: it is recognition. Fame, by and large, is an accountant’s category, tallied in Amazonian sales. Recognition, hushed and inherent in the silence of the page, is a reader’s category: its stealth is its wealth".

"Writers are hidden beings. You have never met one – or, if you should ever believe you are seeing a writer, or having an argument with a writer, or listening to a talk by a writer, then you can be sure it is all a mistake."

"Writers are what they genuinely are only when they are at work in the silent and instinctual cell of ghostly solitude, and never when they are out industriously chatting on the terrace."

I leave the parts about Henry James, Rilke, and publishers and agents to you. To read it all, just click here.
(Copyright of Cynthia Ozick's photo above: Jon Chase/Harvard News Office)

dissabte, 6 de setembre de 2008

local writers and international markets

I'm almost using the same title that Ronaldo Menéndez (Cuban writer) has used in his article of today's 'Babelia'. 

In this article, he explores a situation that is common to many writers from Latin America: they find it hard to get published in countries other than their own and, above all, here in Spain. 
For many of them being published in other Spanish speaking countries means leaving behind the label of 'local' writers and becoming 'international' authors (obviously, we could also use 'successful' instead of 'international'). Menéndez says that the difficulties in achieving this goal contribute to the creation of certain myths among writers. Myhts that can become painful and damaging for those writers who subscribe them. 
Myths that sustain the everlasting confrontation between a center and a periphery.

I won't comment the whole article but I wanted to stress that I believe this situation, the myth of internationalisation (or success) is not endemical of authors living in Southern America and wanting to get published in Spain (as a gate towards a wider market). I think the same happens in English, French, Portuguese, etc... speaking countries.

From my experience I've seen that it is hard that an Angolan author published in Angola will see his/her work published or distributed in Portugal.  But, and this is what I'd like to stress, many 'central' writers also find it hard to reach the so-called 'periphery'. Not all writers from Spain get published in (let's say) Argentina or Panamá. 

And not all writers from US or UK get published in New Zealand... so, at the end of the day, and as Ménendez wisely points out the danger of promoting and encouraging those myths is that they can become a source of anguish and self-marginalisation.
It is also true that as long as there are Mexicans published in Spain, and Brazilian published in Angola, and Nigerian published in Australia, etc. there is hope for books to travel abroad, and even to get translated into other languages. In a way, this is one of the reasons why we, literary agents, exist.

The literary industry has nothing to do with the individual writer who in his/her solitude strugles to put words toghether in order to deliver us a text. So, writers, get to write, publishers and agents, get to read, and the rest... get to the closest bookshop and ask for books by authors who live far away from you!

dimarts, 2 de setembre de 2008

Morder-te o Coração by Patricia Reis shortlisted for the Premio Portugal Telecom de Literatura 2008

Patrícia Reis (b 1970) began her journalistic career in 1988 working in different Portuguese and international media: ‘O independente’, ‘Sábado’, ‘Marie Claire’. She moved to New York to work at ‘Time Magazine’ and back in Portugal she produced a TV show entitled ‘Sexulidades’ and collaborated with the newspapers ‘Expresso’ and ‘Público’and the magazine ‘Elle’. She now lives in Portugal and is the publisher of her own magazine ‘Egoísta’ and partner of the Design Atelier 004.

She is the author of the photo-novel Beija -me (Kiss Me, 2006), the novella Cruz das Almas (Cross of Souls, 2004), and of the novels Amor em Segunda Mão (Second Hand Love, 2006) and Morder-te o Coração (To Bite your Heart, 2007), all published by Dom Quixote. Her new novel, entitled No silencio de Deus (In God’s Silence), will be published in Portugal in September 2008 and in March 2009 in Brazil (by Lingua Geral)

Morder-te o Coração (2007) is a "hallucinating love story that takes us through the mazes of desire and solitude" (according to author Ines Pedrosa), and drags us to the limits of the conventions of genre, sex and love. Patrícia Reis' transparent and communicating writing wins body and thickness in this polyphonic narrative orchestrated by the obsession of a Great and Ideal Love (that infinite light that simultaneously blinds and enlights the intimate truth of each one of us).

The novel tells the story of a woman and a man who had been lovers, their story of accords and discords, her escape, his search and attempt to start all over in Stockholm, memories of childhood, the voice of an African lover they both shared. All in all, a hooking insight on the many faces of love and sex.

As the title suggests, this book bites our hearts with equal doses of tenderness and sharpness, of joy and pain.

“Quando te pedi para me morderes o coração era só para me certificar que ele existia no meu peito. Tu preferiste beijar-me, nunca me mordeste e, assim, fiquei sem saber."

(When I asked you to bite my heart it was just to make sure it existed in my breast. You choose kissing me, never biting, and thus I remained unsure.)

To visit the website of Premio Portugal Telecom de Literatura click here

The novel is also published in Brazil by Lingua Geral. All rights (except Portuguese) are free.