Tagus Press, the publishing arm of the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, announces the publication of Smiling in the Darkness by Adelaide Freitas, translated by Katharine F. Baker and with a foreword by João de Melo.

Many people of Portuguese descent take pride in claiming that the word “saudade” is untranslatable. In reality, we come close with a melding of bittersweet nostalgia, bone-deep longing, and an endless yearning for what one can never have again — or indeed may never have had. Adelaide Freitas dipped her pen in saudade to tell of family separation and bonds that never loosen. In her authentic Azorean voice, she recounts the immigrant experience and centrifugal impulses that force people apart in spite of their desperation to cling to one another. In their sensitive rendering, the translators have captured the nuances of Freitas’s novel Smiling in the Darkness, with special care for those who have her native language in their heritage and heartfelt saudade for its loss. 

Adelaide Freitas(1949–2018) was a celebrated author of prose and poetry, and a professor at the University of the Azores. In 2018, Freitas was honored by the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores with the Insígnia Autonómica de Reconhecimento (Commendation of Recognition). 

João de Melo is the author of over twenty books, including Happy People in Tears, which won multiple literary awards in Portugal.

Smiling in the Darkness was translated by Katharine F. Baker with Bobby J. Chamberlain, Reinaldo F. Silva, and Emanuel Melo.

Smiling in the Darkness is volume 3 of the Bellis Azorica Series, edited by Onésimo T. Almeida (Brown University) and Mario Pereira (UMass Dartmouth).

For more information, please contact Mario Pereira, Executive Editor, at mpereira6@umassd.edu