Bringing to life his countrymen’s daily struggles with the sea, struggles carried out against the dark-stoned background of their homeland, novelist Dias de Melo tells the collective story of Azorean seamen at a moment of great change toward the end of the nineteenth century. Confronted with increasing economic hardship and social and political tensions, whalers faced the choice of continuing to eke out a living at home or forsaking their boats for the shores of America.
This expanded Tagus Press edition features Gregory McNab’s masterful 1988 translation of Dark Stones and a new introduction from Maria João Dodman. As an insider from the island of Pico, Dias de Melo writes in a realistic style that is passionate and forceful, yet tenacious, without ever losing certainty and control.
Published with the support of the Government of the Azores, Dark Stones is a co-publication with Gávea-Brown Publications in the Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies at Brown University.
About the Author
Dias de Melo (1925–2008) was a prolific writer in several genres whose work focuses on life on the Azores, especially the experiences of whalers from Pico and their dreams, failures, struggles, and solidarity against the forces of nature and social interests within a closed rural-maritime community. Dark Stones (Pedras Negras), one of his best-known novels, was first published in Portuguese in 1964. Maria João Dodman is associate professor of Portuguese & Luso-Brazilian studies at York University in Toronto.
About the Translator
Gregory Mcnab is professor emeritus of Portuguese at the University of Rhode Island.
Title: Dark Stones
Author: Dias de Melo
Translator: Gregory McNab
Publisher: Tagus Press|Bellis Azorica
Publication Date: April 12, 2022