Since the beginning of the month, I’ve been dedicating a lot of my time to reading novels I’ve always wanted to read.

Today I finished a fascinating book by 19th century Portuguese master Eça de Queiroz. His realistic descriptions and depictions of bourgeois (Portuguese) society and their petty lives are delightfully truthful even today. A deep critic of society’s institutions, his work is remarkably interesting when it comes to women. They are portraited in an extremely independent way, with strong minds and a lot of will power, though constantly stifled by their counterparts.

Lisbon, where "Cousin Bazilio" takes place

The book which I just read and in which this is very clear is Cousin Bazilio, a thoroughly exciting novel that tells the story of Luísa, a young married woman who risks everything due to the return of her childhood love, her own cousin (unlike the US, dating cousins is not a taboo in Portugal or Brazil).

Now my reading glasses are turned to J.M. Coetzee‘s Disgrace, a book I’ve been meaning to read for quite some time, even before my interest for Africa had been awakened.

There’s nothing like literature to ease one’s heart.

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