Eu Bookclub Voyagetoindia


Saturday, June 24, 2017 – 4pm to 6pm
Alliance Française de Vancouver

Organized by the General Consulate of Portugal in Vancouver and EUNIC Canada-Vancouver, the next meeting with the EU Book Club will be with a Portugese novel by Gonçalo M. Tavares. It will be moderated by Sandy Gualdino.


A Voyage to India is contemporary epic poem inspired by “The Lusiads”, the verse epic by Luís de Camões a sixteenth century masterwork that is central to Portuguese literature. It is arranged in short stanzas, or cantos, and recounts the tale of the hero, Bloom, on his journey. It becomes clear early on that the trajectory of this poem is anything but direct, and as Bloom sets off from Lisbon and detours through London, Paris, Vienna, and Prague, we are guided in and out of the protagonist’s thoughts, interspersed with philosophical commentary from the narrator, and around an array of obstacles which Bloom must contend with along the way.

Bloom’s motives for embarking on his journey emerge as the poem unfolds. We are given pieces of the puzzle one by one, at each stage learning something new about our hero’s character, but Tavares withholds just enough to keep us asking questions. A Voyage to India is a thought-provoking and highly original contribution to the Western epic poetry tradition a work which challenges our ideas about genre.

Gonçalo M. Tavares is considered one of the most important writers of his generation. Born in 1970 in Angola, he started publishing in 2001 and has since been awarded an impressive number of Portuguese and international literary prizes. The Nobel Laureate José Saramago was an early admirer and once said: “Gonçalo M. Tavares burst onto the Portuguese literary scene armed with an utterly original imagination that broke through all the traditional imaginative boundaries”. His work has been published in more than 40 countries.

Admission is free, but please register by 

Note: The English translation of the novel by Rhett McNeil was published by Dalkey Archive Press in December 2016 and is available in paperback at, and It is also available from Chapters bookstores.