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Katarzyna Jarosz (POLAND)


In the morning of 23 September, Maria João, a 53-year-old employee of the Joanina Library in Coimbra, woke up at 6, an hour earlier than usual. Like every day, she ate a simple breakfast, a slice of toast spread with quince home-made marmalade, coffee with double milk and one pastel de Tentugal pastry bought the previous day from the Briosa patisserie. She wanted another piece of toast, but then remembered that yesterday her skirt had felt even tighter on her. She glanced at the jar of marmalade with longing and regret, took a solitary, teeny teaspoon and ate it quickly, before the remorse could reach her. After washing the plate and coffee mug thoroughly, she put on her favourite sweater, the colour of old gold (though she had once heard the deputy director’s wife very maliciously call it mustard colour) and slipped into some comfortable shoes (her legs were really…