O retorno [The return]

(Scroll down for English)

Ha poucos livros de que gosto tanto. O Retorno, de Dulce Maria Cardoso, arrebatou-me. A historia, mais do que a Historia, e-nos contada pelo Rui, adolescente a viver em Angola e que em 1975, tal como outros 600 mil portugueses, se ve obrigado a viver na metropole, numa mudanca dificil e que foi para muito poucos, efectivamente, um retorno. A vida em Luanda, tudo o que se deixa para tras e o rotulo de retornados que insiste em colar-se aqueles que foram naquele tempo, em Angola e Portugal, portugueses de segunda.

Um registo comovente, as vezes revoltante, de um periodo muito recente da nossa Historia, recente demais para ser ignorado. Sem ser politicamente correcto e mais do que querer remexer nas feridas entre os dois paises, nos faz mergulhar na tragedia pessoal daqueles que por isso passaram. Serei talvez suspeita, uma vez que cresci com a historia dos dois paises sempre entrelacada, entre a geleira e o frigorifico e tantos outros termos a que sempre me habituei. Acima de tudo, Dulce Maria Cardoso afasta-se da critica politica, e a nu deixa-nos apenas a historia de uma de entre tantas familias que mais do que retornar, se viram obrigadas a recomecar. Uma historia de coragem, aqui contada na primeira pessoa.

Uma edicao da Tinta da China.

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There are few books that I like so much. The Return by Dulce Maria Cardoso, snatched me . The story, more than the History, is told by Rui, a teenager living in Angola in 1975 that, like another 600 000 Portuguese, was forced to move to what was known as the metropolis, Lisbon. A very hard life-changing move that was, in fact, a return for just a few of them . Life in Luanda, everything that was left behind and  the label that stick to those who were considered at that time, both in Angola and Portugal, less Portuguese than the others – the returnees – are wonderfully portrayed in this book.

A poignant record, sometimes revolting, of Portugal’s recent history, too recent indeed to be ignored . Rejecting a politically correct speech The Return makes us dive into the personal tragedy of those who went through this. I may be biased, of course, as I grew up having as reference the history and culture of both countries, often using words and expressions that were unknown in Portugal.  But above all , Dulce Maria Cardoso moves away from the political critique and leaves us the story of one family, among many other families, in which than return was actually a starting over . A story of courage, told here in the first person.

Unfortunately, the book is not yet translated into English. As Dulce Maria Cardoso is an awarded author (European Prize for Literature), I hope that, sooner than later, we’ll have a UK edition.

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