Now and at the Hour of Our Death
Author: Susana Moreira Marques
Translator: Julia Sanches
Original language: Portuguese
Published by: And Other Stories, 2015
A nurse sleeps at the bedside of his dying patients; a wife deceives her husband by never telling him he has cancer; a bedridden man has to be hidden from his demented and amorous eighty-year-old wife. In her poignant and genre-busting debut, Susana Moreira Marques confronts us with our own mortality and inspires us to think about what is important.
Accompanying a palliative care team, Moreira Marques travels to a forgotten corner of northern Portugal: Trás-os-Montes, a rural area abandoned by the young. Crossing great distances where eagles circle over the roads, she visits villages where rural ways of life are disappearing. She listens to families facing death and gives us their stories in their words as well as through her own meditations.
Brilliantly blending the immediacy of oral history with the sensibility of philosophical reportage, Moreira Marques’ book speaks about death in a fresh way.