‘Two Hands’ by Hélia Correia, translated by Annie McDermott

Nature, in Correia’s imagination, is a cantankerous old woman, dealing natural death with one hand and accidental death with the other. Overworked and exhausted, a temporary lapse in attention results in a misallocated death, leaving a woman, Barbara, without a death of her own. This is a strange story that, like most of Correia’s work, combines brutality and violence with an exquisitely dark and dry sense of humour.

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