Portuguese American Journal

Book: Alves & Co. and Other Stories by Eça de Queiroz – Editor’s Note

Eça de Queiroz is considered to be Portugal’s greatest novelist. Dedalus has embarked on a project of making all his major works available in English in new translations by Margaret Jull Costa.

In this volume, comprising one short novel and six short stories, the reader is introduced to a dazzling variety of worlds and characters: a deceived husband who finds that jealousy is not the answer, a lovelorn Greek poet-turned-waiter working in a Charing Cross hotel, a saintly young woman soured by love, a follower of St.Francis who learns that an entire life of virtue can be besmirched by one cruel act, Adam in Paradise pondering the pros and cons of dominion over the earth, Jesus healing a child, and a loyal nursemaid forced to make a terrible choice.

An opera, The Yellow Sofa, by Julian Philips based on Alves & Co was performed for the first time at Glyndbourne,London,UK, in 2009.

About the author

José Maria de Eça de Queiroz (1845-1900), probably best known for The Maias, a powerful portrait of society in decline, occupies the same place in Portuguese literature as Dickens does in English, Balzac in French and Tolstoy in Russian. Eça de Queiroz, began his career as a self-declared realist, but as his writing evolved, his novels and stories became a potent blend of realism and fantasy.

Dedalus, which has done more than any publisher to bring Eça’s work to the attention of the English-speaking world, continues the project with Alves & Co, also known as The Yellow Sofa, a comic novella about infidelity discovered in a trunk after the author’s death, and half a dozen short stories published in his lifetime, all rendered into English in a new translation by Margaret Jull Costa.

An opera, The Yellow Sofa, by Julian Philips based on Alves & Co was performed for the first time at Glyndbourne in 2009.

About the Translator

Margaret Jull Costa has translated the works of many Spanish and Portuguese writers. She won the Portuguese Translation Prize for The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa in 1992 and for The Word Tree by Teolinda Gersão in 2012, and her translations of Eça de Queiroz’s novels The Relic (1996) and The City and the Mountains (2009) were shortlisted for the prize; with Javier Marias, she won the 1997 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for A Heart So White, and, in 2000, she won the Weidenfeld Translation Prize for José Saramago’s All the Names. In 2008 she won the Pen Book-of-the Month-Club Translation Prize and The Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize for The Maias by Eça de Queiroz.

She has translated the following books for Dedalus: The Great Shadow by Mário de Sá-Carneiro,  The Dedalus Book of Portuguese Fantasy (eds. Eugénio Lisboa and Helder Macedo),  and, by Eça de Queiroz: The Mandarin, The Relic, The Tragedy of the Street of Flowers, The Crime of Father Amaro, Cousin Bazilio, The Maias, The City and the Mountains and Alves & Co. Dedalus will publish the Mystery of the Sintra Road  by Eça de Queiroz in 2013.

Eça de Queiroz    >> Wikipedia  >>

Book Details

  • Paperback: 228 pp. (4.9 x 0.7 x 7.7”)
  • Publisher: Dedalus Limited (October 31,2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903517893
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903517895

Source: Dedalus European Classics