“No teu deserto”, by Miguel Sousa Tavares … yes, Portuguese literature, once again.
“No teu deserto” or in English “in your desert” is a short book, which deals with a specific adventure of a Portuguese explorer and photographer, in an autobiographical tone, and the love story he had with the woman who was his companion during this trip. An expedition is organised to go to Africa, and fate brings these two people together in this adventure. The book describes the vicissitudes experienced during the trip, life in the different cities they visited and their feelings throughout the whole voyage. The person speaking is sometimes the man, and sometimes the woman. In a nutshell, that is the story, without spoilers.
The general tone of the book is very Portuguese, which means, sad and full of melancholy. It has an abrupt end that also leaves the reader full of mixed feelings. To find out what that ending is, read the book, it’s very short, it can really be read in a day or two.
The author is Miguel Sousa Tavares, who is quite famous in Portugal, here is the Wikipedia article with his biography in case you want to find out more about him, or his other books: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miguel_Sousa_Tavares
But, and this is as a mere informative detail, who is really famous is the mother of Miguel Sousa Tavares, that is, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen. Here is the link to her biography as well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophia_de_Mello_Breyner_Andresen
Final comment: if you don’t know where to start in the vast universe of the Portuguese literature, this book could perhaps be a good start. The book is short, so it can accompany you for a weekend. I am not going to say that I loved it because it is not my type of book, but I think that we must also read books outside of our comfort zone, to enrich ourselves, even if from time to time.
Quote of the book: “Não há regresso. Há viagens sem regresso nem repetição.”
Keep on reading,
Questions to answer in the comments:
Have you read any Portuguese literature or something by Miguel Sousa Tavares? And in particular, have you read “No teu deserto”? Did you like it? Do you agree with my final comments on the book? Have you read any similar book of the same genre that you would like to recommend? Please answer these questions in the comments section.