Sunday, December 1, 2013

António Alves Redol, con boina

António Alves Redol (1911 - 1969) was one of the most influential Portuguese neorealist writers.
Redol was born in Vila Franca de Xira and, at the age of 15 he started publishing articles in the local weekly newspaper Vida Ribatejana. In 1928 Redol travelled to Angola (a Portuguese colony at the time), where he stayed for three years. His stay in Angola was mainly unfruitful but influenced his world view, which later became visible in his literature.
In 1936 Redol publishes his first collaboration with O Diabo, the short story Kangondo, set in an African ambiance. He will continue writing chronicles and tales, identifying himself with the social issues of his region, Ribatejo. 
Redol got involved the agricultural workers, like the workers in the rice fields near the Tagus river, and listened to their stories and experiences.
In the beginning of the 1940s he joins the Portuguese Communist Party, which was then illegal. Alves Redol is arrested in May 1944, but in November 1945 he participates in the Central Committee of the Movement of Democratic Unity (Movimento de Unidade Democrática (M.U.D.)) for which he actively participates in the campaigns for the fake elections held by the Salazar regime.
In 1947 he is nominated Secretary-General of the Portuguese section of the International PEN. In 1948 he participates in the World Congress of Intellectuals for Peace, in Wrocław, Poland.
His novel Horizonte Cerrado (1948) is the first volume of a trilogy concerning the Portuguese winemaking region of Douro. Os Homens e as Sombras (1951) and Vindima de Sangue (1953) complete the so-called Portuguese wine cicle.
A Barca dos Sete Lemes was translated into the English language by Linton Lomas Barrett and published as A Man with Seven Names by Knopf in 1964.
Alves Redol died in Lisbon, in 1969.
Redol's statue, that caused an outcry when unveiled - apart from his beret, he is nude (though you're never really nude with a beret on your head...)


  1. This could be interesting for a wine lover, but I'm afraid Redol's so-called Portugese wine circle is not translated in English, is it?

    1. Had a look around various book sites, but couldn't find it, no. If anyone has more information, please let me know. Cheers