And Other Stories is a small publishing house, publishing indie books translated into English. I decided to become a subscriber in 2019 and I also ordered a women-in-translation bundle. The women-in-translation bundle consisted of three books, one of them is Now and At the Hour of Our Death. This is a wonderful, life-affirming book.
In a Nutshell:
In Now and At the Hour of Our Death Moreira Marques recounts when she spent some time in the rural area of Trás-os-Montes, in Portugal. She accompanies a palliative care team to Trás-os-Montes, which is considered a forgotten corner of Northern Portugal. Moreira Marques visits villages where old ways of life are disappearing and talks to families who are facing death, they tell their stories in their own words but also Moreira Marques gives her own meditations of what she has seen and experienced.
When this book arrived in the post, I showed it to my husband and it turns out Trás-os-Montes is very close to where my mother in-law is from in Northern Portugal. Coincidences!
I would say it is one of the best books I’ve read on the meaning of life’s end.
“He isn’t home. He’s in heaven.”
“I wanted to ask Senhor João if he was afraid of dying. I wanted to ask him what it was like to be eighty years old, what it was like to reach the end of your life: if he had any regrets, if it had all been worthwhile, and, if so, what exactly had been worthwhile?”
“When you come back from the journey no healthy person wants to take you will feel strong, since it will become clear that to do so all you need is to be alive; want to amend the future if you can no longer amend the past.”
Stockists: Want to read Now and At the Hour of Our Death? Buy it here.
Now and at the Hour of Our Death
Written by Susana Moreira Marques
Translated from the Portuguese by Julia Sanches
03/09/2015, And Other Stories
#WITMonth for 2021 is curated by Jess Andoh-Thayre
I am 35, from London but currently living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I have lived in Tanzania, Chile and Spain. I am married to a diplomat and we have been posted in Dar es Salaam and now Cambodia. Prior to meeting my husband, I lived in La Serena, Chile and Madrid, Spain.
I am a French, Spanish and English teacher, translator, avid reader and now blogger. When I am not teaching, reading and blogging, I love catching a brilliant sunset, swimming and hanging out with my husband and son.
Author: Susana Moreira Marques
Susana Moreira Marques is a writer and journalist, she was born in Porto in 1976. She is now based in Lisbon, where she writes for two Portuguese publications. Between 2005 and 2010 Moreira Marques lived in London, working at the BBC World Service while also a correspondent for Portuguese newspaper Público. She has won several prizes for her journalism, including the Prémio AMI – Jornalismo Contra a Indiferença and the 2012 UNESCO ‘Human Rights and Integration’ Journalism Award (Portugal). Now and at the Hour of Our Death is her first book and was translated into French, English and Spanish. Her memoir about motherhood, Quanto Tempo Tem Um Dia (How Long Is a Day), is currently available to read in Portuguese.
Translator: Julia Sanches
Julia Sanches, is a literary translator, translating from Catalan, Spanish and Portuguese into English. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Sanches has spent time in the United States, Mexico, Switzerland, Scotland, and Catalonia, and in her words this gives her “an intimate knowledge of the languages, cultures, and literatures she works in.” She is a founding member of Cedilla & Co., a collective of prominent translators, committed to gaining a wider readership in English for many international voices. Her most recent translations are Permafrost (Permagel- Catalan) by Eva Baltasar, Late Summer (O Verão Tardio-Portuguese) by Luiz Ruffato and Eartheater (Cometierra-Spanish) by Dolores Reyes.