The Green and Purple Skin of the World
April 1, 2013
“In any skin purple is a heavy tone that penetrates to the core.”
paulo da costa’s stories get under your skin, bruise your consciousness with their exploration of the forces that hold us together, not always benignly, and those that pull us apart. A hunter and cougar ponder the positions of predator and prey under the dense canopy of a West Coast forest. A nine-year-old girl tells her stuffed rabbit, Carrot, that it’s not as easy to run away as she thought, especially when she suspects someone is following her. Like the bubbles that the character in the title story blows while witnessing the dissolution of a love affair, these stories dazzle and beguile: with their craft, their often dark humour, their grasp of people living the extremity that is daily life.
“da costa’s stories unfold with the ease and inevitability of myth.” – Weyman Chan
“Da Costa’s prose in this story, whose character feels that “language wraps the world in a thin, temporary veil,” verges on poetry and invites rereading for the pleasure of its lyricism.” – Malahat Review, December 2013.
“Skin and home,” BC Bookworld, Summer 2013, page 32.
“Imagine the beam of a flashlight shining onto a vast landscape. The focus is often so spot-on that many of the stories function almost as proverbs.” – Coastal Spectator, May 23, 2013.
“da costa is more recondite, preferring a lyrical, almost poetic style of narration… treacherous emotional territory is traversed sensitively and with an indirection that is admirable.” – National Post.
FPTV Canada interview (in Portuguese and English), May 10, 2013.
“Writers on Reading: paulo da costa,” The Vancouver Writers Fest blog, May 7, 2013.
OMNI TV interview (in Portuguese, at the 8:00 mark), May 5, 2013.
“The world described in paulo da costa’s second book of short fiction is a sensual one. A poet and translator, da costa favours imagistic language to explore characters’ relationships to one another and to nature, depicting a scenic tapestry of interpersonal phenomena that spans love, war, aging, and death.” – Quill and Quire.
PRAISE FOR THE SCENT OF A LIE BY PAULO DA COSTA:
“The debut of a remarkable writer.” – Toronto Star
“With this book of linked stories, paulo da costa adds piquant new spice to the CanLit broth. Paying homage to a fabulist tradition running from Marquez and Borges and Carlos Fuentes all the way back to Cervantes, da costa evokes his God-beset, earthbound peasants, priests and villagers with palpable, redolent precision.” – Globe and Mail
“The reader can see just how well da costa writes: the language here is lyrical and flowing, and the imaginativeness of the stories speaks for itself. da costa is clearly a writer to watch.” – Edmonton Journal
“The most uniformly fresh, sprightly, meaty work of Canadian fiction I’ve read in a long time.” – VUE Weekly
Winner of the 2003 Commonwealth First Book Prize (Canada and Caribbean region)
Winner of The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize