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Tales of Rural Portugal
The stories, set in or around the village of Granja, have been chosen because of the privileged insights they offer into life in rural Portugal, during and after the Estado Novo, and their focus on the role and status of women in a society characterized by its age-old patriarchal structure.

Only two of the stories included in this compilation narrate the lives of male protagonists, but are of equal interest because of the light they shed on the unrelenting hardships of rural life, the solutions adopted to combat endemic poverty or individual responses to social change.

These stories are undoubtedly interesting from an historical or a quasi-ethnographical perspective, or they may be enjoyed as the life narratives of these women and men who are obliged to make the best of permanently challenging circumstances, yet continue to triumph in the face of adversity.

Notwithstanding the occasional allusions to historical events, all of them possess a curiously timeless quality, due perhaps to the constant emphasis on eternal human concerns and values, among which we might single out the binary opposites of love and loss, birth and death, greed and generosity, as well as the embracing of social responsibility and mutual assistance, the importance of family, close and extended, loyalty, the virtue of self reliance and remaining true to oneself.

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