Join us for the launch of Paulo da Costa’s Trust the Bluer Skies in conversation with Larissa Lai’s The Lost Century.
Both books are about returns to origin, in different ways. There will be readings and together this should make for an engrossing conversation.
Trust the Bluer Skies
Evocative and heartwarming, Trust the Bluer Skies is a literary time capsule—a father’s vivid account of his son’s early years, a sensory-rich journey through rural Portugal, and a poignant exploration of masculinities that is positive, compassionate, and nurturing. The story tells of da costa’s family spending an extended stay in Portugal, away from their home in Victoria, BC.
Distilling the wide-eyed innocence, joy, and curiosity of his four-year-old son as he meets his aging grandparents and explores an unfamiliar country and culture, da costa crafts a beautiful, tender, and poetic portrait of father-son relationships. As da costa writes to his 4-year-old son in the preface —
I struggled, as I witnessed culture shock stretching out your psyche. I admired the strength of your four-year-old heart as the old skins of predictability peeled away and you endeavoured to blend into a new cultural landscape so very distinct from the quiet habitat of our Victoria home… In the vivid, memory-rich setting of my childhood valley, grandfather, father, and son explore our family history and digest the changes in the Portuguese and global masculine culture during the last nine decades.
Born in Angola and raised in Portugal, paulo da costa is a writer, editor, and translator living in the Rocky Mountains.
The Lost Century
Lambda Literary Award winner Larissa Lai (The Tiger Flu) returns with a sprawling historical novel about war, colonialism, love, and loyalty during Japan’s occupation of Hong Kong in World War II.
On the eve of the return of the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong to China in 1997, young Ophelia asks her peculiar great-aunt Violet about the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War II, the disappearance of her uncle Raymond, and whether her grandmother, Emily, was a murderer.
Emily’s marriage – three times – to her father’s mortal enemy causes a stir among three very different Hong Kong Chinese families, as well as among the young cricketers at the Hong Kong Cricket Club, who’ve just witnessed King Edward VIII’s abdication to marry Wallis Simpson. But the bickering around the scandal of Emily’s marriage is violently disrupted by the Japanese Imperial Army’s invasion of Hong Kong on Christmas Day, 1941, which plunges the colony into a landscape of violence none of its inhabitants escape from unscathed, least of all Emily. When her sister’s situation becomes dire, Violet, along with a crew of unlikely cosmopolitans, hatches a plan to rescue Emily from the wrath of the person she thought loved her the most – her husband, Tak-Wing. In the middle of it all, a strange match of timeless Test cricket unfolds in which the ball has an agency all its own.
With great heart, The Lost Century explores the intersections of Asian relations, queer Asian history, underground resistance, the violence of war, and the rise of modern China – a sprawling novel of betrayal, epic violence, and intimate passions.