Tuesday, May 23, 2006

 

Safaa and Sereias

Last night I was on TV again! Nothing to do with writing: I was (briefly) interviewed for the BBC Welsh news about my views on the Welsh Assembly. I muttered something like "Having our own Assembly means we can make our own mistakes instead of having them imposed on us from England!" I was mildly pleased with my performance but when I saw myself on TV later I looked terrible, really unkempt and rough, like a cross between a docker and a terrorist! It's curious that I have only been on TV twice in my life and both times were during this month, May 2006!

A story of mine has just been published in an anthology. 'Bitter in Sour' is the opening story in DARK DOORWAYS from the Prufrock Press. It's a nice looking book. 'Bitter in Sour' was one of the few stories I wrote secretly at work last year, when I was employed in a horrible shampoo warehouse! My story is set in Lebanon and is partly a tribute to my friend Safaa Dib. The female character (who is never seen) is called Safaa, one of my favourite female names. If I ever have a daughter I will certainly consider Safaa as a prime candidate for her name (together with Nuria, my other favourite female name).

The real Safaa has just accepted the challenge of translating my next Portuguese language book, A SEREIA DE CURITIBA. This is rather apt, as she appears as a character in the text. Safaa's blog mentions how the Portuguese newspaper Publico has already reported on this. Apparently this is one of the most renowned newspapers in Portugal and a three page interview and feature on yours truly has just been published in its august pages. (August pages in May?)... Hopefully this will lead to more sales of my book in Portugal. More sales mean more chance of my Portuguese publishers issuing more of my books in future. Already I am planning various books to pitch to them, including an omnibus edition of my three 'Tall Stories' novellas (the last one is not yet finished) and a brand new project, a tribute to Calvino based on the format of his INVISIBLE CITIES provisionally entitled IMPLAUSIBLE PLANETS.

Comments:
Hey! I'm Jorge, remember, the young writer from Monção who spoke in the very first panel? You signed my book at the end of the congress. I read the interview in Público, it was very good, and yes, it is the most considered and referenced newspaper in Portugal (not only that, you were in it's saturday litterary supplement, which is very read). It was where I discovered about your blog. Take care.
 
Boa tarde Jorge! Yes I remember! How are you? I really enjoyed Monção, a very nice town indeed! Wish I was back in Portugal now actually! The weather here has been awful, just rain and more rain!
 
Hey Rhys. May is stardom month!
 
Rhys, in the article you mentioned the website of an international old books sellers association. Which site is it? I've been searching and can't seem to find it...
 
Bom dia Jorge! Hmmm, I can't remember what website I was talking about, unless it was Abebooks (http://www.abe.com)

That's not really a collector's site but you can buy first editions there (or very old or rare books) if you know what you are looking for!
 
I'm just writing from Portugal to say I enjoy very much your books... Your writing is very inspiring... I'm also a great admirer of Borges...
I made this picture with the inspiration of one of your texts... thank you!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/magic_fly/154301348/
Look foward to see your new books
Paula
 
Boa tarde Paula! Tudo bem? Thanks for that link. The image is very beautiful.
Where in Portugal do you live?
 
Boa Tarde
thank you...
I'm from Porto... I hope you come again to Portugal with a new book... the title is great... I like very much of Calvino's books...
 
Ola Paula!

I know Porto, that's a great city. I went there twice this year already.

Maybe I'll return later this year. I have to go back to Portugal anyway for a Borges conference. Maybe I'll see you there?
 
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