Show Less
Restricted access

«New Portuguese Letters» to the World

International Reception


Edited By Ana Luísa Amaral, Ana Paula Ferreira and Marinela Freitas

Published in 1972, New Portuguese Letters addressed censored issues – such as the colonial war, immigration, the Catholic Church, violence, and the legal and social status of women – becoming a symbol of resistance against the Fascist Portuguese regime. Privileging feminist approaches, this volume maps the reception of the book in Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, the UK, Ireland, the USA, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Scandinavia. The scandal that surrounded the banning of New Portuguese Letters, under the accusation of ‘pornographic content’, and the trial of the three authors for ‘outraging public morals’, brought the case to the attention of the international community. The book found instant support from feminist movements and well-known writers – such as Simone de Beauvoir, Marguerite Duras, Doris Lessing, Iris Murdoch, Adrienne Rich and Anne Sexton – and was adopted as «the first international feminist cause».
Given its great significance in political and aesthetic terms, New Portuguese Letters was – and remains – a fundamental work in contemporary literature and culture, offering an invaluable contribution to the history of women and raising crucial issues relevant for political agendas today, such as equality, justice and freedom.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

4 New Portuguese Letters in the United States


← 96 | 97 →


4  New Portuguese Letters in the United States

Beginning in mid-1973, when the information about New Portuguese Letters and its authors initially began to spread in North America, the history of the book’s reception in the United States became closely intertwined with the history of second-wave feminist activism and thought. Within this constitutive and decisive convergence, it is possible to discern, however, a great variety of effects – actions, statements, interpretations, synergies, divergences, misunderstandings, and so forth – related to the text’s US reception, a diversity that makes this process of cultural and political communication a uniquely fascinating case study for transnational and global feminist inquiry. This chapter draws on a comprehensive selection of sources – from newspaper articles, activist petitions and diplomatic cables to book reviews, academic studies and works of fiction inspired by New Portuguese Letters – in order to chronicle the book’s diffusion in the United States and map the main coordinates of the intercultural dialogue that sprang from the work of the Three Marias.

The Trial

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.