Saudade

Saudade

A coming-of-age story set in Angola in the period leading up to the colony’s independence, Saudade focuses on a Goan immigrant family caught between complicity in Portuguese rule, and their dependence on the Angolans who are their servants. The title (saudade means ‘melancholy’ in Portuguese) speaks to the longing for homeland that haunts its characters, and especially the young girl who is the book’s protagonist and narrator.

Suneeta Peres da Costa’s novella captures with intense lyricism the difficult relationship between the daughter and her mother, and the ways in which their intimate world opens up questions about domestic violence, the legacies of Portuguese slavery, and the end of empire. The young woman’s intellectual awakening unfolds into a growing awareness of the lies of colonialism, and the violent political ruptures that ultimately lead to her father’s death, and their exile.

Title:Saudade
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781925336634
Format Type:

    Saudade Reviews

  • Marchpane

    Saudade is a bittersweet longing for that which is lost. A Portuguese word often claimed to be untranslatable, it is a melancholic yearning; an affectionate nostalgia; the ‘presence of an absenc...

  • Collin

    The definition of the word “saudade” is a feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia that is characteristic of the Portuguese or Brazilian temperament, or “the love that remains” after someo...

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)

    Saudade is a feeling of loss, or not belonging, and this is well captured by the narrator of this novella, which is on the Tournament of Books shortlist. It is set in 1960s pre-independence Angola, an...

  • Carmel Hanes

    An interesting and short read, but not one that grabbed me and wouldn't let go. I enjoyed some of the prose and learning a bit of history. There were some memorable passages as we go through the inter...

  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)

    This short coming-of-age story had an intriguing premise and setting but ultimately left me wanting it to have a little more heft. The narrator is a young woman whose family has immigrated from the Go...

  • Ruthiella

    A super short book (just over 100 pages) but I took five days to read it. I wanted to keep it slow and savor this wonderfully written look at a girlhood and adolescence in 1960-70s Angola on the verge...

  • Janet

    This is a short (114 page) novella. Despite it’s short length I had trouble focusing my attention. But I am celebrating because with this book, for the first time I have read the entire Tournament o...

  • Jan

    An exceedingly slim coming-of-age novel with nice writing and setting but too little story and depth to keep me engaged....

  • Michelle

    52 Weeks of Women of Color, Tournament of Books 2020 "Love is a fire that burns unseen, a wound that aches yet isn't felt . . . a longing for nothing but to long, a lonlieness in the midst ...

  • Elaine

    3.5, rounded up. I’m clearly like Goldilocks. I’m always complaining that books are too bloated and need a firm editor, and now for this slender novella, I’m going to carp that it was too short!...