By Sofia Jesus
There are two things that, unfortunately, don’t come around as often as I would like: talented contemporary writers from different origins writing about Macau; and literary works accessible to almost all in Macau, by being published at the same time in Portuguese, Chinese and English.
Four Ever — The Script Road: Short Stories and other writings IV manages to do both.
The book, which was launched earlier this month, gathers short stories — and other writings — by some of the guest authors that took part in last year’s edition of The Script Road — Macau Literary Festival. It also includes three great short stories by the winners of the fourth literary competition launched by the festival: Jane Camens, in the English category; Darío Alejandro Poianco Bravo, in the Portuguese one; and Zhou Yonghua, in the Chinese category.
The book features a total of 15 authors, and comes in three different editions: one in English, one in Portuguese — which was the one I read — and one in Chinese. There are, hence, plenty of good things to read here, and as many to share, regardless of one’s native language.
In one single book, you can read — just to name a few — wonderful stories such as the ones by David Machado, Murong Xuecun, Ondjaki, and the three winners of the competition; you can dive into local history with Joe Tang; or you can read the city in the form of poems, such as the ones by Francisco José Viegas or Maria do Rosário Pedreira.
In one single book, you get love and loneliness and reflections on belonging and on what is this of being a writer, all connected by a city’s heterogeneity, which caught the eye of all these talented authors in different ways.
As the festival’s organisers say, in the book’s introduction, these writings are due to “join our collective memory, so that they remain, and become part of Macau”. That being said, I can’t wait for next year’s edition to see that memory grow.