No year reviews.
Certainly no favourites of the decade. Ten years is way too long a period to condense into a few works and moments.
Just a recap of what happened throughout the weird 2020.
Away, foul creature! But not too far.
Written in English for The Portuguese Portal it was published in March and structured to introduce “A Dama Pé-de-Cabra: rimance de um jogral” [“Lady Goat-Foot: romance of a minstrel“] by Alexandre Herculano to an international audience. Herculano’s novella has an electronic edition as part of the Portuguese anthology Dentro da Noute: Contos Góticos. [Non-fiction]
Ai que a Princesa é um diabrete!
In April, at the invitation of Bairro dos Livros, I recorded a video reading a children’s story. For the purpose, I picked this text from 2012 about a playful little girl. [Fiction – Short Stories]
Escritores lêem excertos de livros que marcaram as suas vidas: nº 23
As nossas leituras: nº 9 – Inês Botelho
Both to honour books and stress their importance, writer João Nuno Azambuja set up a section on his facebook timeline and asked people connected to the arts to share readings of books they hold dear. I chose Novas cartas portuguesas [New Portuguese Letters] by Maria Isabel Barreno, Maria Teresa Horta, and Maria Velho da Costa – a work truly wondrous yet more often mentioned than actually read or even known. The video was published in May. Since then, Azambuja’s idea was sponsored by UCCLA – União das Cidades Capitais de Língua Portuguesa, renamed As nossas leituras, and now accepts submissions from interested individuals. Those wishing to send their own contributions, always in Portuguese, should contact João Nuno Azambuja either via facebook message or by email.
Prefácio: Um gosto a cosmos
The research project Alimentopia – Utopian Foodways on the one hand offered a multidisciplinary approach to the discussion of food production and on the other examined how food impacts the plot of fantasy and science fiction texts. In this context, it invited João Barreiros to develop a story where food would become theme and influence. Um Gosto a Céu no Lago do Breu is not only a classic Barreiros’ work but also a surprising piece. One can acquire it in paperback edition or the digital format available for free since May. I had the pleasure of penning the preface. [Non-fiction]
Prefácio: Leituras ao cardápio social
Alimentopia likewise invited Luís Filipe Silva to put together a tale dealing with food concerns. Silva answered with a dystopia as relevant to the project as to current debates. Herr Prosit lê o cardápio ou Hoje jejuamos comes in paperback and digital, the latter published in May and free to download. I equally had the fortunate chance to write the preface. [Non-fiction]
Haverá trilhos: Por universos muito navegados
The year 2020 marked the fifteenth anniversary of Revista Bang!. However, the pandemic mangled the celebrations. The latest issue, number 28, even had its publication postponed. It was eventually released in June, featuring the usual variety of short stories, interviews, and articles on the numerous worlds of speculative fiction. For my column I decided to survey the phenomenon of constant adaptations, sequels, and prequels. [Non-fiction]
Tale as new as time: manifestations of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Bluebeard” in Jordan Peele’s Get Out
Literature and the Arts since the 1960s: Protest, Identity and the Imagination, edited by Jorge Almeida e Pinho and Márcia Lemos, was published in October by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. The collection focuses on artistic works with social and political intents from the 1960s to the present. I consider how Jordan Peele’s Get Out uses fairy tales for sociopolitical goals and provides the best animal-groom related film of 2017. [Non-fiction]
Litortura Nacional – Episódio #02: Inês Botelho
Writer Filipe Faria started the YouTube channel Litortura Nacional as a way to promote Portuguese literature. He interviewed me in November and for almost an hour we talked about fantasy and other genres, about music and language and I tried to construct sentences with words I didn’t know. There is an audio-only version that can also be accessed through spotify. [Press – Radio and television]