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Queen's Quarterly
Queen's Quarterly

The Colours of Happiness

Paulo Da Costa

Winter 2021 - The Colours of Happiness


Your uncle promises that when the proper time comes he will take you to the Dragon Stadium in Porto, along with your cousins, for an initiation ritual into malehood. The aim is to bring you into the fold. He hopes that the adrenaline spilling from 50,000 people chanting in the festive atmosphere of “blue,” that the elation brought by a scored goal, that the congregation of minds cheering will flood you with excitement and hook you for life, as it did his sons. This is a type of “ecstasy” pushed on impressionable minds, as a promised gateway to quick happiness or misery achieved in 90 minutes …


Born in Angola, and raised in Portugal, Paulo da Costa is a writer, editor, and translator living in the Rocky Mountains of Canada. He is the recipient of the 2020 James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction, the 2003 Commonwealth First Book Prize for the Canada-Caribbean Region, the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize, and the Canongate Prize for short fiction. The Midwife of Torment is his latest book of fiction.