Author: João de Melo
Cláudia Lourenço, a journalist, is sent from Lisbon to the island of São Miguel to work for Quotidiano. Her mission is to interview a well-known ex-operator of the Liberation Front of the Azores and to recover the chronicle of the island’s independence during the Revolution. She is confronted with a mystery man, the voice and shadow of the player, his truths that lie, his lies that tell the truth. She, who belongs to the “next generation,” does not seem to have any historical memory of the then country: she lives in the now, and the past is a distant territory whose narration flows within a somewhat obscure imaginary.
The history of the FLA (and of FLAMA in Madeira) contains the “country of all returns”: the dictatorship, the end of the wars in Africa, decolonization, and the “return” to the European home through the back roads, the same ones that led the ships to get lost on the seas of departure. The country that decolonizes itself vibrates with revolutionary exaltation. And it is from the advances and retreats of this Revolution that the separatist temptation of the archipelago is born.
In the long, secret interview with the FLA man, the journalist finds herself entangled in a story of political deceit, cronyism, property interests, foreign collusion, and other misunderstandings of the separatist movement, where there is no place for the victims of the FLA, nor for the helplessness of the “returners” from Africa. But Cláudia Lourenço will find a way to give them a voice.
Winner of the dst Literature Grand Prize