A while ago we brought you an excerpt from Manuel Tiago’s The 3rd Floor, stories of the Portuguese Communist resistance under fascism. Now Eric Gordon has translated into English another book of Tiago’s called Border Crossings, a collection of short stories about the everyday lives of those who worked for the party resistance and had to flee from town to town and country to country as they carried out their assignments.
Tiago, whose real name was Álvaro Cunhal, based these stories on his longtime experiences in the Portuguese Communist Party. As Eric Gordon writes in his introduction, “One theme that pops up in story after story here is that of communication, cooperation and collaboration. No one makes these journeys alone. They are aided by a global support system that recognized the critical importance of these crossings.”
I would add that these stories taken as a whole add up to a three dimensional portrait of ordinary people doing heroic things in extraordinary times.
Here’s one story from Border Crossings called “Women over the Soajo.”
Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear the story as broadcast today on WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica stations across the nation.