‘The Silence’ by Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, translated by Margaret Jull Costa, Jennifer Alexander, Elenice Barbosa de Araujo, Sally Bolton, Clara Buxton, Tom Gatehouse, Felix Macpherson and Maria Reimondez

A woman in a house, in apparent synergy with her surroundings. Yet there is tension in the air; a sensation that the property is observing her. The stillness is eventually broken by the scream of an unknown woman. Is her scream a cry of pain or of warning? Is it, perhaps, a plea for help? No easy answers are offered and yet, in the air of watchfulness that pervades the narrative, it’s not difficult to sense the all-seeing eye of authoritarianism, of the fear that keeps us at home and prevents us from coming to the defence of others.

In the anthology Take Six: Six Portuguese Women Writers, Dedalus, 2018

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