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Luis Cardoso's memoir of growing up in East Timor portrays a people and a culture struggling to form their own identity under successive waves of colonialism. Its central image is a travessia, a crossing: between child and adult, Portuguese and Timorese, tolerance and repression, colonialism and independence.
As a Portuguese colony in the early 1970s, pining for the motherland's attention, Timor was a strange, unstable hybrid, where folk stories blended with stories from the Bible, where the summit of a young man's aspiration was to become a priest or a customs official, and where growing up in Dili meant football, flares, korem-metam parties and chatting up the tourists. But when, after failing at the seminary, Cardoso joins other Timorese students on scholarship in Lisbon, he soon realizes his pilgrimage to the great metropolis is in fact another exile. Meanwhile the Indonesian invasion of 1975 forces a second stage of the Timorese diaspora, including Cardoso's ailing father, from whom he learns the first details of the fate of his countrymen.
Through this personal story of modern Timor is woven a public history of the political identities forming in the face of the coming storm: a dreamy goalkeeper-poet becomes a guerrilla leader; a feisty journalist becomes an international presence who will one day win the Nobel Peace Prize.
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Since returning to Timor, Luis Cardoso has served on the Maubere Resistance National Committee, and worked as a reporter, a teacher and a storyteller. This is his first book.Language Notes:
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Portugese
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Book Description Granta Books, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P11186207352X