Maria João Dodman, professor of Portuguese and Luso-Brazilian Studies in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, has published a creative book of short narratives that explore the notion of hybrid identity, of living between worlds and the (re) invention of a 10th Island a narrative theme commonly found in immigrant communities from the region of the Azores, Portugal.
AndarIlha. Viagens de um hífen [Wanderer. Voyages of a Hyphen] is the title of this collection of 17 narratives (15 in Portuguese and two in English). The narratives highlight the voyage as a leitmotif designed to separate and join old and new worlds, of finding one’s identity and of returning to the affections, the cult of memories and the wisdom of the elders.
While treasuring tradition, this collection also looks at exploring new ways of being, of integration, and cultural reciprocity. The book was launched on June 17 in the Azores with a presentation by Victor Rui Dores, a prominent Azorean writer and Dodman’s old high school English teacher.
AndarIlha has been received positively by literary critics. Vamberto Freitas, a literary critic, professor at the University of the Azores and a specialist in diasporic literature, wrote the following: “It has been a while since I have read, from an Azorean writer, living in the region or abroad, such a beautiful and assertive writing, that of a marvelous stroke of a pen, which defines her person and her story of woman between worlds on both sides of the Atlantic, aware and cognizant of her personal luck in a Lusophone diaspora that is becoming less disperse and distant. Each piece of prose appearing here as an allegory for the process of continuous reinvention of herself and her way of being in life.”
The full review (in Portuguese) can be read on professor Freitas’ blog.
AndarIlha. Viagens de um hifen was published by Letras Lavadas, associated with Publiçor Editors, the largest publishing house of its kind in the Azores.