Paperback / softback
November 30, 2004
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.4 Pounds (US)
$20.00 USD
v2.1 Reference

Through a Portagee Gate

Through a Portagee Gate is both an autobiography and a biography. It gives a remarkably honest self-portrait and an endearing tribute to the author's father, a Portuguese immigrant cobbler who came to America in 1915. The narrative reveals a deep desire to escape the confines of the immigrant, ethnic world, while also acknowledging a keen nostalgia about one's past, a need to remember and recognize those who came before. Felix accomplishes this through unforgettable dialogue and vivid characterizations worthy of Steinbeck—a prose sometimes poignant, at other times hilarious that strips human experience to its bare and powerful elements.

About the Authors

CHARLES REIS FELIX (1923 - 2017) was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, to Portuguese immigrant parents. He studied at the University of Michigan from 1941 to 1943, when he was drafted into the U.S. Army. After the war he received a B.A. in history from Stanford University and became an elementary school teacher. He is the author of Crossing the Sauer, an account of his experience as a combat infantryman in World War II; Da Gama, Cary Grant, and the Election of 1934; and Tony: A New England Boyhood. He lives in Northern California.


"Reading much like a novel, with its rich detail and emotive content, Through a Portagee Gate offers a profound look into the Portuguese immigrant psyche and the evolution of a post–industrial city."—Donald Warrin, author of So Ends this Day: The Portuguese in American Whaling 1765–1927 and Land as Far as the Eye Can See: The Portuguese in the Old West

"Through a Portagee Gate is a valuable document, a record, a history, and autobiography, a memoir, an elegy. When readers encounter Felix's carefully drawn dramatic scenes, his exacting prose, and his deeply human people, they understand that he is engaged in a work of art. Felix is a writer possessed of humor, wit, and a great heart."—Frank X. Gaspar, author of Stealing Fatima and Leaving Pico

"Through a Portagee Gate is the story of two men told with novelistic brilliance. Passionate, witty, full of anger, but leavened with equal amounts of hope, it is the most moving biography I've encountered in years–and one of the most remarkable autobiographies."—Llewellyn Howland III, author of The New Bedford Yacht Club: A History

"Through a Portagee Gate is a plain-spoken, down-to-earth account of an American voyage, rich in fable, anecdote, and wit. Charles Reis Felix writes as boldly as if carving scrimshaw about the soles fixed by this father, a cobbler, and the tread of life upon various nearby souls, including his own."—Katherine Vaz, author of Our Lady of the Artichokes and Other Portuguese-American Stories
Tagus Press
Portuguese in the Americas Series

9780972256148 : through-a-portagee-gate-felix-felix
Paperback / softback
484 Pages
$20.00 USD

Other Titles by Charles Reis Felix


Charles Reis Felix
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Da Gama, Cary Grant, and the Election of 1934

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Behind the Stars, More Stars

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Baby, Let Me Follow You Down, second edition

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