The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture / Tagus Press is a multidisciplinary international studies and outreach unit dedicated to the study of the language, literatures and cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world. Working in close partnership with the Department of Portuguese and the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, it is the oldest of these units devoted to Portuguese at UMass Dartmouth.

Events - 2015

Free book and Author signings -- Book Launch of Happy People in Tears by João de Melo

May 1st from 5:30pm-8:30pm at the
Portuguese Consulate of New Bedford,
(628 Pleasant Street in New Bedford,MA)

Event Flyer

Happy People in Tears. A Novel
Book launching: "Happy People in Tears: A
Novel" by João de Melo. Translated by Elizabeth

Tagus Press at UMass Dartmouth, in partnership with the University Press of New England (UPNE), announces the publication of Happy People in Tears by João de Melo, translated by Elizabeth Lowe with Deolinda Adão, with a foreword by Onésimo T. Almeida.  João de Melo will officially launch the book on Friday, May 1st at the Portuguese Consulate of New Bedford, located at 628 Pleasant Street in New Bedford from 5:30pm-8:30pm, and on Tuesday, May 5th at the Providence Athenaeum, located at 251 Benefit Street in Providence, Rhode Island from 6:30pm-9:00pm. The book launchings and signings are free and open to the public. The book launch and signing at the Providence Athenaeum is co-sponsored by the Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies at Brown University.

Happy People in Tears is an award-winning tale of diaspora that takes the reader on a voyage through five worlds—the island home of São Miguel, mainland Portugal, California, New England, and Canada—experienced and suffered through the obsessive search for happiness of a poor Azorean family of eleven. It is a polyphonic novel, in which the voices of three of nine siblings narrate their versions of the family saga in alternating chapters, culminating in a dialogue between the key narrator, Nuno Miguel, and his estranged wife, Marta, who tells the story from her point of view and sheds a harsh light on her husband, a poet, and his chronically tearful family. Nuno Miguel completes the circle of migration and suffering in the final chapter to return to his ancestral home, to greater self-awareness and a place of acceptance.

João de Melo was born in the Azores in 1949. He has written over twenty books, including the novels My World Is Not of This Kingdom and, most recently, Lugar Caído no Crepúsculo (A Place Fallen into the Twilight). First published in Portuguese in 1988, Happy People in Tears won multiple literary awards in Portugal, including the Grand Prize of the Portuguese Writers’ Association, the City of Lisbon Prize and the Christopher Columbus Prize. Elizabeth Lowe is Professor and Director of the Center for Translation Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

The translation and publication of Happy People in Tears was generously supported in part by the Presidência do Governo Regional dos Açores/Direção Regional da Cultura. Happy People in Tears is volume 23 of the Portuguese in the Americas series. Tagus Press is the publishing arm of the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

For more information, please contact Mario Pereira, Managing Editor of Tagus Press at or by calling 508-999-8255.  To purchase the volume, please visit the UPNE website by clicking here.