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Carla Bessa

Translated by Elton Uliana


get up early, have a shower, make some coffee, wake up the kids, kiss them, wake up the husband, kiss him, welcome the housekeeper, good morning!, help!, hi?, good morning!, have breakfast with the husband and kids, help!, did you say anything, honey?, me?, strange I heard something too mum, come on, time to go to school, take the husband and kids to the car, say goodbye, help!, walk the dog, here comes the neighbour, hello!, help!, sorry?, how are you?, very well thank you, see you later, help!, turn around, keep walking, go to the bank, go to the hairdresser, help! , help!, go to the beautician, go to the shops, come back home, cook, iron, clean the house, no need for the cleaner it’s done already, visit the mother, help!, help!, help!, make an appointment at the gynaecologist, smile to the doorman, help!, all right, ma'am?, all great and you?, give the car park man some change, help!, help!, take the blender for repair, help!, come home, help!, hang the new painting in the dining room, or perhaps in the bedroom, help!, help!, help!, pick up the kids from school, help with their homework, help!, help!, help!, help!, help!, dinner, put the children to bed, read them a story, sing them a lullaby, stroke them, smother them with the pillow, welcome the husband, poison the husband, go to sleep.

wake up in the middle of the night thinking, shit, I forgot the dog.

This short story was a winner of the Prémio Off Flip de Literatura in 2022


Carla Bessa is a translator and writer, and has translated some of the most prominent names in the contemporary German literature. She published “Aí eu fiquei sem esse filho” (short stories, 2017, Oito e meio), “Urubus” (short stories, 2019, Confraria do vento), and “Minha Murilo” (novella, 2021, Urutau). She has contributed to short stories anthologies and writes reviews for Jornal Rascunho and Capitolina Revista. In 2020 “Urubus” was awarded the Prêmio Jabuti and the second place in Prêmio Biblioteca Nacional. It will be launched in Germany by Transit Verlag. “Aí eu fiquei sem esse filho” will be launched in Greece by Skarifima Editions.

Brazilian translator based in London, Elton Uliana is the co-editor of the Brazilian Translation Club at University College London (UCL). His published work includes short stories by Carla Bessa (Asymptote), Ana Maria Machado (Alchemy), Jacques Fux (Tablet), Sérgio Tavares (Bengaluru, Qorpus), essays by Manuel Querino, Mário Barata and Odorico Tavares (Art in Translation, Taylor & Francis); and forthcoming translations of stories by Conceição Evaristo, Carolina Maria de Jesus, Alê Motta and Carla Bessa (Machetes Under Our Beds: An International Anthology of Words and Writing by Daughters of Latin America, HarperCollins).

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