Lesley Saunders interviewed by Martin Kratz
In this exclusive interview for E: SF, poet and translator Lesley Saunders discusses the translating the work of Maria Teresa Horta, a Portuguese writer, journalist and poet, born in Lisbon in 1937, and known for her fascinating and provocative writing, in times where freedom of speech was heavily censured. In 1972, along with Maria Velho da Costa and Maria Isabel Barreno (they were known as “As Três Marias”, The Three Marias), she published the controversial book, Novas Cartas Portuguesas (New Portuguese Letters). This book challenged the moral authority of the regime in the 1970s and was declared ‘pornographic and offensive for public morality’. It has since become considered the revolutionary text of Portuguese feminism of the 20th century. The book consists of letters, essays, poems, and fragments that portray Portuguese society, and more specifically the condition of women in Portugal. The Three Marias’ collective part in changing the lives of Portuguese women for the better, remains imbedded in the nation’s history.