Paul Hyland arrived in Lisbon by cargo boat, following Henry Fielding. Hyland ascends the Tagus through Portugal's heartland and across the frontier with Spain. He meets contemporary writers and probes the nation's psyche with talks with fishwives, bullfighters, businessmen and gypsies.
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Europe's westernmost edge is Portugal: a 'country underestimated out of ignorance, a history that amnesia has wiped clean, a dictatorship which lasted almost forty years, a revolution we hardly noticed'. Portugal's navigators opened up most of the globe; the paradigm world power, it hung on to its colonies the longest. In this book, we discover the discoverers now, as they turn from far horizons to face Brussels.
Paul Hyland arrives by cargo boat, following Henry Fielding's 'Voyage to Lisbon'. Bloated with dropsy, the novelist went there to die, a year before the Lisbon earthquake shook the Age of Reason. Hyland ascends the Tagus from Lisbon, through Portugal's heartland and across Europe's oldest intact frontier to Spain. He meets today's writers, in the land of Camoes and Pessoa, and probes the nation's psyche with fishwives, bullfighters, businessmen and gypsies. He talks with the pretender to the defunct throne, and encounters Portugal's once-and-future king, Dom Sebastiao, supposed to have died in 1578, but still alive and well and waiting.
The Portuguese say, 'Once we were so great, now we are so small'. 'Backwards out of the Big World' is a brilliant and surprising look at one of Europe's most extraordinary and little-known countries, by an unusually gifted writer.
"If you are going to Portugal, you must carry this book in your pocket"
SARA WHEELER, 'Literary Review'
"Hyland is particularly good at catching the passing moment of Portuguese lives at unguarded moments … almost hallucinatorily lucid"
CHRISTOPHER HOWSE, 'Spectator'
Paul Hyland is the author of the acclaimed books Indian Balm and Backwards Out of the Big World.
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Book Description FLAMINGO, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110006548261
Book Description FLAMINGO, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0006548261