Portuguese American Journal

Book: ‘FADO: The Saddest Music in the World’ by Elaine Ávila – Editor’s Note

Fado is the story of a young singer, Luisa, who arrives home to her apartment in Surrey, BC, to find her mother, Rosida, collapsed on the floor, weeping, because the greatest fado singer of all time, Amalia Rodrigues, has died. Luisa realizes she doesn’t know how to sing a single Portuguese song, because she and her mother moved outside the community after Luisa’s dad died. She decides to save money to take them on the trip of a lifetime, back to Lisbon.

When they arrive, Rosida is overcome with feeling for all she has lost, and Luisa discovers Rosida’s favourite fado is fascist. Heartbroken, she begins wandering the back alleys and streets of old Lisbon, where the music was born. Luisa discovers that her path to reclaiming her culture is as curving and mysterious as the back alleys of Lisbon, winding through queer fado, fados of resistance, immigrant fados, fuelled by her desire to find her own true song.

Playing sold-out crowds in Vancouver and Victoria in 2018 and 2019, Fado won the following awards and distinctions: “Sure Fire List” (the top 23 most producible plays in Canada by women), Playwrights Guild of Canada Top Unproduced Latinx Plays in the U.S., 50 Playwrights, 2018 Favourite Musical, Intrepid Theatre Society, Victoria, 2018.

About the Author

 Elaine Ávilas plays are produced in Central America, Europe, the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Her Best New Play Awards include: Jane Austen, Action Figure (Festival de los Cocos, Panamá City), Lieutenant Nun (Victoria Critics Circle), and Café a Brasileira (Disquiet International Literary Program in Lisbon). Her creative non-fiction is published by York University Press, Routledge, Theatre Communications Group, No Passport Press, Smith and Kraus, EnRoute, Howlround, Canadian Theatre Review, American Theater, Portuguese American Review, Lusitania, Contemporary Theatre Review, and Café Onda. Teaching in universities from Portugal to Tasmania, China to Panamá, Elaine has served as the playwright in residence at Pomona College in Los Angeles, Quest University Canada, Western Washington University, as the Endowed Chair and Head of the MFA Program in Dramatic Writing at the University of New Mexico, and founder of the LEAP Playwriting Program at the Arts Club Theater in Vancouver. She is the co-founder of the International Climate Change Theatre Action, involving fifty playwrights, two-hundred venues and twelve-thousand audience members worldwide. The 2019 Fulbright Scholar to the University of the Azores, Elaine lives in New Westminster with her musician-teacher husband and her sixteen-year-old, a core leader of Sustainabiliteens.

Book Details

  • Title: FADO
  • Author: Elaine Ávila
  • PublisherTalonbooks
  • Date of Publication: May 18, 2021
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 112 pp


Available @ Amazon.com (pre-order)

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