New Portuguese Letters to the World published
Published in 1972, New Portuguese Letters addressed censored issues – such as the colonial war, immigration, the Catholic Church, violence, and the legal and social status of women – becoming a symbol of resistance against the Fascist Portuguese regime. Privileging feminist approaches, this volume maps the reception of the book in Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, the UK, Ireland, the USA, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Scandinavia. The scandal that surrounded the banning of New Portuguese Letters, under the accusation of ‘pornographic content’, and the trial of the three authors for ‘outraging public morals’, brought the case to the attention of the international community. The book found instant support from feminist movements and well-known writers – such as Simone de Beauvoir, Marguerite Duras, Doris Lessing, Iris Murdoch, Adrienne Rich and Anne Sexton – and was adopted as «the first international feminist cause».
Given its great significance in political and aesthetic terms, New Portuguese Letters was – and remains – a fundamental work in contemporary literature and culture, offering an invaluable contribution to the history of women and raising crucial issues relevant for political agendas today, such as equality, justice and freedom.
Available for purchase here.
Ana Luísa Amaral is a professor at the University of Porto. Her main areas of research are comparative poetics, feminist and queer studies. She has edited several books, including a Portuguese Dictionary of Feminist Criticism (with Ana Gabriela Macedo, 2010) and Novas Cartas Portuguesas entre Portugal e o Mundo (with Marinela Freitas, 2014). She has also translated poets such as John Updike and Emily Dickinson and her poetry is being translated into English by Margaret Jull Costa.
Ana Paula Ferreira is Professor of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Minnesota. Her main research interest is the twentieth-century Portuguese novel, focusing on women writers, feminisms and nationalisms; «race», racisms and colonialisms; psychoanalysis, deconstruction and ethics. Amongst her publications are Para Um Leitor
Ignorado: Ensaios sobre O Vale da Paixão e Outras Ficções de Lídia Jorge (2009) and Spanish and Portuguese Literatures and Their Times: The Iberian Peninsula (2002).
Marinela Freitas is undertaking postdoctoral research on posthumanism at the Institute for Comparative Literature Margarida Losa, at the University of Porto. She has published on comparative literature, Portuguese and North American literatures, feminist studies, queer theory and utopian studies. Amongst her publications are including Emily Dickinson e Luiza Neto Jorge: Quantas Vozes? (2014) and Utopia Matters (with Fátima Vieira, 2005).