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Charles Reis Felix
Born April 29, 1923
New Bedford, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died January 25, 2017 (aged 93)
Palo Alto, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Ethnicity Portuguese-American
Alma mater Stanford University
University of Michigan
Occupation Writer

Charles Reis Felix (April 29, 1923 – January 25, 2017) is an American writer who was a prominent contributor to Luso-American literature.[1]


Charles Reis Felix was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, one of four children of Portuguese immigrant parents. Felix's name on his birth certificate was the Portuguese "Carlos," but as a child he was referred to as "Charley." Felix grew up during the lean years of the Great Depression and graduated from New Bedford High School in 1941. He studied at the University of Michigan from 1941–43, until he was drafted into the U.S. Army.

After the war, Felix continued his undergraduate education, receiving a B.A. in History from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. He became an elementary-school teacher and spent 31 years in the classroom, while returning to Massachusetts for family visits on occasion.


Felix's work interweaves autobiography, historical narrative and fiction to depict the human experience. Felix's first book, Crossing the Sauer, was an account of his three months as a combat infantryman from January through March 1945. Crossing the Sauer was hailed by Paul Fussell as "one of the most honest, unforgettable memoirs of the war I've read."[2]

His second book, 2004's Through a Portagee[3] Gate, depicts his upbringing in New Bedford, and describes a relationship between the author and his father, Jose or "Joe" Felix, that resonates with many individuals of Portuguese ancestry in the United States. In fact, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth presented a theatrical play version of Felix's book on his birthday in 2006, much to the delight of the author.

Felix's third book, Da Gama, Cary Grant, and the Election of 1934, dealt with local politics amid the ethnic enclaves of New Bedford, Massachusetts. In the book, Felix describes the candidacy of a Portuguese-American for local office, and his attempts to unseat the "All-American," Yankee incumbent. His last published book was Tony: A New England Boyhood.


Felix lived with his wife Barbara in a cabin among the redwoods of Northern California. They had two children.[4] He died in January 2017 at the age of 93.[5]


  • Crossing the Sauer: A memoir of World War II (2002)
  • Through a Portagee Gate (2004)
  • Da Gama, Cary Grant, and the Election of 1934 (2005)
  • Tony: A New England Boyhood (2008)


  • Vasco da Gama, Cary Grant e as Eleições de 1934. Translation of Da Gama, Cary Grant, and the Election of 1934. Edited by Rui Zink and translated by Emília Madureira and Rui Zink. EDEL Editora (2011)


  1. Fagundes, Francisco Cota (Dec 2005). "Portuguese Immigrant Experience in America in Autobiography". pp. 708. Digital object identifier:10.2307/20063174. JSTOR 20063174. 
  2. Moser, Robert Henry and Antionio Luciano de Andrade Tosta (eds.) (2011). Luso-American Literature: Writings by Portuguese-Speaking Authors in North America. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. pp. 128. ISBN 9780813550589. 
  3. Monteiro, George (April 26, 2006). "Local author's work confronts ethnic slurs". Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  4. Felix, Charles Reis. "Author Biography". Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  5. Charles Reis Felix Obituary
  • Monteiro, George (2006). "Fiction: Portugal and the United States". In Iberia and the Americas: culture, politics, and history: a multidisciplinary encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO Inc.
  • Mendonça, Duarte (2006). "Um emergente escritor luso-americano". Revista Diário, July 16–22, pp. 12–7
  • Silva, Reinaldo (2008). Representations of the Portuguese in American Literature. Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
  • Alves, Maria Teresa Gomes Ferreira de Almeida (2009) "Between Worlds: A Convergence of Kindred Lives". DEA-FLUL/Edições Colibri, pp. 755–64
  • Azevedo, Rui Vitorino (2010) "Not Quite White: the Ethno-Racial Identity of a Portagee". Uma Revista de Estudos Anglo-Americanos / A Journal of Anglo-American Studies, 12, pp. 19–34
  • Fagundes, Francisco Cota (2010-2011). "Of Portuguese Ethnicity in Gaw: Felix's Da Gama, Cary Grant, and the Election of 1934 as Composite Novel". Gávea-Brown, A Bilingual Journal of Portuguese-American Letters and Studies, XXXII-XXXIII, pp. 5–35
  • Felix, Charles Reis (2011). "The Americans" from Through a Portagee Gate. In the anthology: Luso-American Literature: Writings by Portuguese-Speaking Authors in North America. Rutgers University. Press, pp. 128–35
  • Fagundes, Francisco Cota (2011). "I Write Nonfiction Fiction’: An Interview with Charles Reis Felix". In Narrating the Portuguese Diaspora: Piecing Things Together. Peter Lang

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