Lídia Jorge

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Lídia Jorge
Lídia Jorge in 2015
Lídia Jorge in 2015
Born (1946-06-18) 18 June 1946 (age 72)
Loulé - Boliqueime, Portugal
Occupation Novelist
Education Romanic Philology
Alma mater University of Lisbon

Lídia Jorge (born June 18, 1946) is a prominent Portuguese novelist and author whose work is representative of a recent style of Portuguese writing, the so-called "Post Revolution Generation". Her books have won international recognition and have been published in many countries.


Lídia Jorge was born in the village of Boliqueime in the Algarve region of southern Portugal in 1946. After finishing secondary school she moved to Lisbon to attend the Universidade de Lisboa (University of Lisbon) where she obtained an Honours degree in Romanic Philology. Soon after completing these studies she became a secondary school teacher. She married a Portuguese military man, who served in the Portuguese colonies in Africa, and spent six very influential years in Portuguese-speaking Africa, two in Angola (1968–1970) and four in Mozambique (1970–1974), a time that coincided with the latter period of the Portuguese Colonial War in Africa. The author was divorced in 1977. Later on she formed a relationship with journalist Carlos Albino. Lídia Jorge lives in Lisbon and has two children and one grandchild.

Publications and awards[edit]

Lídia Jorge’s first publication, the novel O Dia dos Prodígios [The Day of the Prodigies] (1980), is considered to be a major contribution to the new wave of modern Portuguese literature which followed the end of the Estado Novo regime in 1974. The two novels which followed, O Cais das Merendas [The Wharf of the Parties’ Remains] (1982) and Notícia da Cidade Silvestre [The Wild Town Remembering] (1984) both won the Literary Prize of the Lisbon Municipality.

However, it was with A Costa dos Murmúrios [The Murmuring Coast] (1988), a book that draws upon her experiences in colonial Africa, that the author confirmed her status as one of the leading figures in modern Portuguese literature.

In 1998 O Vale da Paixão [The Painter of Birds] won a number of awards including: the D. Dinis Prize from the Casa de Mateus Foundation; the Bordalo Literature Prize from the Casa da Imprensa; the Máxima Literature Prize; the P.E.N. Club Fiction Prize; and in the year 2000, the Jean Monnet Prize for European Literature and European writer of the year. Four years later the novel O Vento Assobiando nas Gruas [The Wind Whistling in the Cranes] (2002) won the Grande Prémio da Associação Portuguesa de Escritores (Portuguese Writers' Association Prize) and the Prémio Correntes d'Escritas (Prize for New Currents in Writing).

In 2007 Lídia Jorge published the novel Combateremos a Sombra [We Shall Fight the Shadow], which was launched at the Fernando Pessoa Foundation in Lisbon. The Encyclopædia Britannica online speaks of its " ... intricate poetic prose ... at once lyrical and suspenseful, Combateremos a Sombra follows its protagonist, the psychoanalyst Osvaldo Campos, through a densely plotted maze of personal and political deception." This novel won the Michel Brisset Prize 2008 awarded by the French Psychiatrists Association.

In 2009 the author published the essay Contrato Sentimental [Sentimental Contract], a critical reflection on the future of Portugal. Her latest novel (2011) is entitled A Noite das Mulheres Cantoras [The Night of the Singing Women].

The author has had two anthologies of short stories published, Marido e Outros Contos [Husband and Other Stories] (1997) and O Belo Adormecido [The Sleeping Beau] (2003), and the stand-alone stories A Instrumentalina (1992) and O Conto do Nadador [The story of the Swimmer] (1992).

Lídia Jorge has also written for the younger public: O Grande Voo do Pardal [The Great Flight of the Sparrow] (2007) illustrated by Inês de Oliveira, and Romance do Grande Gatão [Big Tomcat's Novel] (2010) illustrated by Danuta Wojciechowska.

Lídia Jorge’s stage play A Maçon [The Mason] was performed at Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II in 1997.[1] A Costa dos Murmurios has been recently adapted for the cinema by Margarida Cardoso. O Dia dos Prodígios was adapted for the stage and directed by Cucha Carvalhelho; the play was performed at Teatro Trindade, Lisboa, and Cineteatro Louletano in 2011.

On the 30th anniversary of the publication of O Dia dos Prodígios the Council of Loulé organised a commemorative exhibition of her work entitled 30 Anos de Escrita Publicada [30 Years of Published Writing]. The exhibition was open to the public between November 2010 and March 2011, during which a series of talks, discussions and guided tours took place.

In 2005 Lídia Jorge became France Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2006 she attended a ceremony in Germany where she was awarded the first ever International Albatroz Literature Prize by the Günter Grass Foundation for her work to date. She won the Latin Union International Prize in 2011. Lídia Jorge is Doctor Honoris Causa by the Universidade do Algarve (2010).

In 2008 the author took part in the First International Writers Festival in Jerusalem, Israel.

Lídia Jorge’s books are published in Portugal by Publicações Dom Quixote, except Contrato Sentimental, published by Editora Sextante. Her German agent is Literarische Agentur Dr. Ray-Güde Mertin based in Frankfurt. She also has a French agent. The author’s novels have been published in Brazil and translated into Spanish, French, English, German, Italian, Greek, Hebrew and Swedish.

At present Lídia Jorge writes a newspaper column twice a week for Jornal Público, a Portuguese newspaper.



  • O Dia dos Prodígios (The Day of Prodigies) - 1980 (Available in English)
  • O Cais das Merendas (The Quay of the Parties Remains) - 1982
  • Notícia da Cidade Silvestre (The Wild Town Remembering) - 1984
  • A Costa dos Murmúrios (The Murmuring Coast) - 1988
  • A Última Dona - 1992
  • O Jardim Sem Limites (Limitless Garden) - 1995
  • O Vale da Paixão (The Painter of Birds) - 1998 (Available in English)
  • O Vento Assobiando nas Gruas (The Wind Whistling in the Cranes) - 2002
  • Combateremos a Sombra (We Shall Fight the Shadow) - 2007
  • A Noite das Mulheres Cantoras (The Night of the Singing Women) - 2011
  • Os Memoráveis (The Outstanding)- 2014


  • A Instrumentalina - 1992
  • O Conto do Nadador (The Story of the Swimmer) - 1992
  • Marido e outros Contos (Husband and Other Stories) - 1997
  • O Belo Adormecido (The Sleeping Beauty Boy) - 2004

Children's Literature:

  • O Grande Voo do Pardal [The Great Flight of the Sparrow] - (2007)
  • Romance do Grande Gatão [Big Tomcat's Novel] - (2010)


  • Contrato Sentimental (Sentimental Contract) - 2009


  • A Maçon (The Mason) - 1997


  • Malheiro Dias Prize, Academia das Ciências de Lisboa (1981)
  • Cidade de Lisboa Literary Prize (1982 and 1984)
  • Dom Dinis Prize, Casa de Mateus Foundation (1998)
  • Bordallo Literature Prize, Casa da Imprensa (1998)
  • Máxima Literature Prize (1998)
  • P.E.N. Club Fiction Prize (1998)
  • Jean Monnet European Literature Prize, European Writer of the Year, France (2000)
  • Portuguese Writers Association Prize (2002)
  • Correntes d’Escritas Prize (2002)
  • International Albatroz Literature Prize, Günter Grass Foundation, Germany (2006)
  • Portuguese Writers Association Prize – Millenium BCP (2007)
  • Giuseppe Acerbi Special Prize Scrittura Femmenile, Italy (2007)
  • French Psychiatrists Association, Michel Brisset Prize, France (2008)
  • Latin Union International Prize (2011)
  • Spanish-Portuguese Art and Culture Prize (2014)
  • Vergílio Ferreira Prize (2015)


External links[edit]