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A Thousand Thoughts in Flight

A Thousand Thoughts in Flight

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Diaries, 1974–1996
By Maria Gabriela Llansol
Translated by Audrey Young
Introduction by João Barrento

A remarkable collection of diary entries from cross-genre Portuguese author Maria Gabriela Llansol, which span dozens of diaries and 33 years.

Publication Date: July 16th, 2024

Paperback ISBN: 9781646053056
eBook ISBN: 9781646053209


"She dedicated herself to this work regularly, at the same time, in the same place, and in almost the same position...” (The Book of Communities).

Over the course of her life, Maria Gabriela Llansol wrote many thousands of pages. She left behind 70 diaries in all, which began in November 1974 and continued until 2007. Three of them were published during her lifetime.

Diary I begins the day she finishes The Book of Communities and ends the day she finishes The Remaining Life, in 1977. Diary II picks up two years later, when she is finishing In the House of July and August and beginning the second trilogy. It follows her through the second trilogy and captures her first ideas for the Lisbonleipzig duology; it is here where Bach and Pessoa begin their encounter, in 1982. Diary III is less a diary than a mourning of the death of her friend, the Portuguese writer Virgílio Ferreira, one of the only contemporary writers with whom she felt any affinity. It is a mapping of their relationship and a conversation between them.

Biographical Note

Maria Gabriela Llansol (1931-2008) is a singular figure in Portuguese literature, one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, yet never before translated into English. Although entirely unknown in the United States, she twice won the award for best novel from the Portuguese Writers’Association with her textually idiosyncratic, fragmentary, and densely poetic writing; other recipients of this prize include José Saramago and António Lobos Antunes. Upon her death in 2008, she left behind twenty-seven published books and more than seventy unpublished notebooks, all of which evade any traditional definitions of genre. Deep Vellum published her trilogy Geography of Rebels, in English translation by Audrey Young, in 2018.

Audrey Young is a translator, researcher, and archivist. She received a Fulbright grant to research non-theatrical film in Portugal and studied Portuguese language and culture at the University of Lisbon with a scholarship from the Instituto Camões. She has worked at the Getty Research Institute, the Cineteca Nacional México, and the Arquivo Nacional do Brasil, among other archives.