Saturday, December 7, 2019 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Alliance Française de Vancouver
Organized by the Consulate General of Portugal in Vancouver and EUNIC Canada-Vancouver, the next meeting with the EU Book Club will
celebrates the Hundredth Anniversary of Sophia Mello Breyner Andresen ´s birth. The discussion will be led by Esmeralda Cabral,
a Portuguese – Canadian writer with an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of King’s College. Her work has been published in the
Globe and Mail, The Common Online, Understorey Magazine, Curiosity Magazine and nu-merous anthologies. Two of
her stories have aired on CBC Radio.
Published in 1962, this short story collection foreshadows two other iconic 1960s works—by the Mozambican Honwana and the Angolan Vieira—in the way it invites its readers to consider a range of ethical issues at a watershed moment during the Salazar dictatorship in Portugal. It alternates between allegorical pieces, endowed with a fable-like quality, such as a modern reworking of the Three Kings biblical story, and more immediate first-person tales focusing on the formative experiences of an autobiographical narrator. Sophia, widely acknowledged as one of Portugal’s greatest poets, perhaps second only to Pessoa, uses an accessible yet beautifully lyrical language to propose that poetry, love, and holiness are not lofty ideals: they are within reach of everyone, in the fight against social injustice and complicit behavior.
Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen (November 6, 1919 in Porto – July 2, 2004 in Lisbon) was an award-winning Portuguese poet and writer. In
2014, she was unanimously chosen by the Parliament with National Pantheon honours, the second woman to be so honored, after Amália
Rodrigues. Sophia, as she is often referred to in Portugal, was born in Porto to a wealthy aristocratic family. She inherited the surname
'Andresen' from her paternal great grandfather, a Danish merchant. She received a strict Catholic upbringing, and was to remain a fervent
believer until the end of her life. After spending her childhood in Porto she moved to Lisbon, where she attended the Universidade de
Lisboa. As a student, she was actively involved in Catholic movements. Politically, she defended constitutional monarchy and openly
criticized Salazar's dictatorship. In 1946 she married lawyer and politician Francisco Sousa Tavares. They had five children, among whom is
journalist and best-selling author Miguel Sousa Tavares. After the Carnation Revolution in 1974, she made a brief incursion into politics as
an MP for the Socialist Party (centre-left). This year Portugal celebrates the Hundredth Anniversary of Sophia´s birth and many events
in her honor have been organized in Portugal and around the world.
Light refreshments will follow, courtesy of the Consulate General of Portugal. Admission is free, but please register by e-mail: email@example.com