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Blog > Our Alice in Wonderland

Most people have a favourite author from their childhood or teenage years — for many, that might be Dr. Seuss, Roal Dahl or Enid Blyton. Maybe J. K. Rowling or Beatrix Potter? Or perhaps a mix of all of those! If you grew up in Portugal though, one of them would probably be Alice Vieira. Her name is inescapable in any Portuguese adolescent’s life, often featured in school books and “must-read” lists.

To me, her works are linked with a clear memory of this being the first author I read as a young teenager whose books felt “real”. Often, the characters were kids just like us, discovering real life and wondering aloud about the same things we thought about all the time. Alice’s words flow in the pages as the most natural thing in the world, funny and ironic at times, and yet genuine and straightforward. It’s easy to understand and fall in love with — and year after year, new generations of children continue to do so.

So you can probably imagine our surprise when, some years ago, we discovered Alice (aka paisdasmaravilhas) is a postcrosser too, and carries postcards everywhere she goes… often to interviews, where she explains Postcrossing to puzzled journalists! We met her last year, and, very humbled and honoured, asked her a few questions about her relationship with mail. Here she is, in her own words!

To those out there who don’t know you, how would you describe Alice Vieira?

An old journalist colleague of mine described me as the “activist of optimism”… I think it defines me well. Even in tough times, I always believe things will work out, if we give it our best.

How did you find out about Postcrossing? What made you stay?

I think I might have seen it on Facebook… but the big push to sign up came from my friend José (aka PilotOne). And then, it’s really nice to receive postcards from the other side of the world, from someone who read a book of mine — it happened with a young Chinese postcrosser, who told me that he was going to save my book for his son that was about to be born (and then sent me a picture of the baby!) or exchange postcards back and forth with several others (the last one is a young Finnish lady who calls me “granny”). There are other funny instances as well, such as the time I received a postcard… from a neighbour!

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Which part of Postcrossing do you enjoy the most?

It gives me great pleasure is to pick the best postcard for someone. Even today, I was out looking for cute postcards with cats. And I also use the opportunity to “advertise” our own national treasures: for instance, if someone is interested in contemporary art — and they often are — I send postcards with reproductions of paintings by Almada, Amadeo Souza-Cardoso, etc.

Have you always written postcards, or is it more of a recent thing? Who did you write to, before Postcrossing?

Always!!! Since I was a child. And I’ve always insisted with my children to do the same: I have a postcard that I always carry with me, that my son sent me when he was 8 years old, from Coimbra where he was playing at a chess tournament. It reads “Mom: I have nothing to say. Kisses.”
Before discovering the project, I used to send (and I still do!) to a group of friends, some of which I’ve converted to Postcrossing. And on all of my friend’s birthdays as well. And on holidays… This year I’ve already received two happy birthday cards from two Facebook friends, one from Germany and another one from Finland.

What other things are you passionate about?

Writing — and of course, my children and grandchildren.

Thank you so much Alice! It’s so nice to finally see you on the blog! 😊

PS – Coincidently, today is Alice’s birthday… please join us in wishing her a happy birthday on the comments below!

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76 comments so far

geminiscp, Portugal
Nice & amazing surprise!!! :D

PARABÉNS Sra. Alice Vieira! :)
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omer61, Turkey
I enjoyed reading :) keep going Alice :) greetings from Turkey
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mounten, Italy
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FROM ITALY ALICE!!!!!!Great story keep on going Ciao.
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meiadeleite, Portugal
🎉 parabéns alice! 🎉
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bibliobures, France
Chère Alice,
Merci encore pour votre superbe carte !
Je vous souhaite un très bon anniversaire
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paisdasmaravilhas, Portugal
Thanks a lot for your kind words-- and let us go on exchanging cards and good wishes!
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PedroSantos, Portugal
Parabéns Sra. Alice Vieira :) Tive a sorte de já ter recebido um postal seu :) E acredite que ainda hoje sempre que falo com alguém que não conhece o Postcrossing, digo-lhes que até já recebi um postal seu :) Sim porque é um orgulho enorme receber um postal de uma grande escritora portuguesa :) Que tal como é dito no blog, fez parte da minha infância :)
Beijinho :)
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Proserpine, United Kingdom
Wonderful to read Alice's interview. I had the pleasure of sending a postcard to this lovely lady not so long ago :) Happy Birthday Alice!
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Phibatola, Greece
hello Alice. Happy Birthday and all the best with loads of cards. I hope I get your address one day via post-crossing. Today on the 20th of March is also my birthday :)
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mysweetlife63, United States of America
Happy Birthday! Many blessings! I hope I may send a card to you soon!
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swisscowgirl, Switzerland
Happy birthday from Switzerland!
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fisherman, Ireland
Happy Birthday Alice - I am so glad that I sent you a postcard in 2012. Also greetings to your good friend Jose who I met in Lisbon a few years ago.
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Tyleen, Canada
Happy Birthday Alice !! =) You sound so lovely ♥
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juttertje, Netherlands
Happy Birthday Alice!
I wish you to receive many, many interesting and beautiful cards!
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PilotOne, Portugal
Happy Birthday once again, Alice and a big thank you for the reference you made to me in this interview. I'm glad I contributed to your joining this beautiful project!
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honeybee, Austria
Happy Birthday from Austria! What a lovely story.
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Broe, Germany
Great spotlight! Her kind personality comes trough very well.

Happy Birthday, Alice! Hope you had a great day :)
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Nana805, France
Mais uma vez Parabéns Alice !
I had also the luck to receive a postcard from Paísdasmaravilhas ! I'm a big fan of Alice since the first book I bought.
Postcrossing connects the world and back to our neighbourhood ! 😍
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Rosebuddy, South Africa
Parabens sra Alice! Wonderful to read about you and know so many people around the world share our pleasure in exchanging postcards. I will look out for your books. Kind regards and best wishes from Cape Town.
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tullipan, Germany
What coincidence... I sent a postcard to you yesterday with a Goethe quote... All the best! :)
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HermioneGinny, Italy
Happy birthday Alice! I'm lucky to receive one of your postcards and to read one of your books, too! Have a wonderful day
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cbayha, United States of America
Happy Birthday, Alice! My grandmother was named Alice and it is my favorite girls name. Many happy returns.
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_BrEkAs_, Portugal
"Graças e Desgraças da Corte de El-Rei Tadinho" era um dos meus livros favoritos quando era miúda :)

"Graças e Desgraças da Corte de El-Rei Tadinho" was one of my favourite books as a kid :)
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KayLovesPurple, Ireland
Happy birthday Alice!
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zomertje, Netherlands
Van harte gefeliciteerd Alice, have a great birthday!!!
Greetings from the Netherlands
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Luziaceleste, Brazil
Feliz anversário, Alice!
What a lovely lady.
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stellaerrans, Netherlands
Happy Birthday Alice! Today I had the honour to send you a card... Many best wishes!
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Corry1919, Netherlands
Happy birthday Alice, have aan nieuwe day! Corrie1919
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caltowie, Australia
Happy Birthday Alice from Australia. I have been thrilled to find other people who love postcards in postcrossing. I am not alone!
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courtneyelise, France
Happy Birthday Alice! Joyeux anniversaire de Paris ! Gros bisous, Courtney
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MirjamW, Netherlands
Wishing you a very happy birthday Alice and many, many great postcards to send and receive!!
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HelenaMaltez, Portugal
Feliz Aniversário, Alice Vieira! Os seus livros marcaram, sem dúvida, a minha adolescência. Espero um dia receber um postal seu! Muitas felicidades e Feliz Postcrossing!
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Happy Birthday, Alice Vieira! Your books undoubtedly marked my adolescence. I hope one day to receive a postcard from you! Best wishes and Happy Postcrossing!
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Tranchile, Guernsey
Very Happy Birthday from Guernsey in the Channel Islands. I hope it was very special for you.
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MarcioandCristina, Portugal
Muitos Parabéns, D.Alice.
Quem sabe se um dia tenho a sorte e o prazer de receber um postal seu.
Cumprimentos
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Kereru, New Zealand
Rau whanau ki a koe Alice from us all here at Kereru in Aotearoa!
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merryrose22, Canada
Wishing you a Happy Birthday, Alice.
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Sanvipost, Spain
Inspiring interview! Have a nice birthday Alice! I hope I will have the chance to send you a card one day! By the way, my name is Alice too. I love Portugal ❤️
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Ryoko_Yoshimura, Japan
Otanjoubi Omedetou ~ Happy birthday to Alice! Happy postcrossing ! from Japan, with love
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MissSassiFras, United States of America
HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Alice!!!
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Laurentina, Portugal
Boa noite, Alice,
Sou a Aida, mulher do Rui. Daqui lhe envio os meus sinceros parabéns. Tantas e encantadoras mensagens através do Postcrossing! Um grande abraço. Espero que tenha tido um dia feliz.
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purpleorchid, Belize
Happy Birthday, Alice!
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clouisesz, United States of America
Happy Birthday, I am now on a mission to find your books in the states. I love the postcard your son sent to you. That made me smile.
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stellenbosch, Philippines
Happy Happy Birthday Señora Alice!
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beesknees, United States of America
Great story - especially the part about your sons postcard - funny!
Happy Birthday
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dosankodebbie, Japan
What a blessing this article is, and so nice to meet Alice. Happy Birthday, Alice. Hugs from Japan.
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harrickson, United States of America
Happy Birthday, Alice, and Happy Postcrossing!
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esmefia, Malaysia
Happy belated birthday Alice!
May God bless you
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kasaxix, Czech Republic
have a nice day! all the best
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LarraChersan, Germany
Such a lovely interview. Happy birthday, Alice, all the best and joy forever!
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ciprea, Italy
Happy belated Birthday, Alice! I like your story and the postcard your kid sent you - he was great!
Happy Postcrossing! Hoping to have the chance to send you a postcard. Ciao from Italy
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Prinzmucki, Germany
Happy belated Birtday, Alice , I Think its good to have you on our side.Great!!!
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Mosshumla, Sweden
Happy birthday, Alice, and thank you for a wonderful spotlight!
As a book nerd, I of course immediatelly checked for Alice's books at Stockholm's library. They have 22 of her books :) Unfortunately only one in Swedish, "Honungsblomma" (Flor de mel). Tomorrow I'll go and borrow it from the library.
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MARTHA_G, United States of America
Happy Birthday, Alice! One of the joys of postcrossing is learning of favorite children's books from other countries. Now I will search for yours!
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nugget, United States of America
Belated birthday wishes! Thanks for the nice interview!
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ned44440, Ireland
Happy Birthday, Alice - or in Irish Lá Breithe Shona Duit. I received a beautiful needlework postcard way back in the mists of time - https://www.postcrossing.com/postcards/PT-178984 - beautiful postcard.
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plaraye, United States of America
Happy Birthday, Alice! I very much enjoyed your interview and hopefully, someday, we will exchange a card or two.
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RaquelSnitch, Spain
Happy birthday, Alice!! I loved reading your interview. Now let's read one of your books!
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Jacque53, United States of America
Happy Birthday Alice from Arizona, USA! I hope someday to be able to exchange a card with you. Last year I was fortunate to have written a postcard to your friend PilotOne :)
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OlgaKl, Russia
I received a card from Alice! :)
It was a little a pity that she didn't sign a card with a full name, but only a name. But after all, many thanks! Happy birthday! I wish Health and beauty!
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chokamix, Brazil
This was such a cute read! Thank you postcrossing for this beautiful post and also Alice for being such a sweetie. I must look for your books now, which will be a great addition to my collection. As a children's book artist, it's nice to see other artists on here. Maybe we'll come across each other someday be it here or out in the world ♥ Happy birthday!
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nnifnnif, United States of America
Happy Belated Birthday! Hope you had a beautiful day, lovely one-
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Elinajam, Italy
🌷🌷🌷Belated Happy Birthday, Alice!! 🌷🌷🌷

Once I've received a card from you, which is still one of my favourite Portuguese cards https://www.postcrossing.com/postcards/PT-387980 💖
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melilot, France
Oh yes I knew I've seen this person before, I've received a postcard from this lady too :) And she wrote me in french.
happy happy birthday!
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Flippie, Canada
HAPPY BIRTHDAY - VAN HARTE GEFELICITEERD, thank you for sharing your story, Anneke.
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atmaja, Indonesia
Happy Birthday Mrs. Alice
Much love for you
from Indonesia
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afrique, Central African Republic
Adorei esta entrevista! Tudo de bem pra voce e lhe desejo un futuro cheio de muitas cartoes mais!
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quirkylady79, United States of America
Happy Birthday Alice! What a wonderful interview--I really enjoyed reading it!
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Viktoria_Senatenko, Russia
Many happy wishes from Russia, Alice! ♥
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paisdasmaravilhas, Portugal
Olga K, from Russia: I'll send you another card, now with my full name!
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CindyLim, Malaysia
Happy belated birthday to you Alice!
Best wishes,
from Malaysia
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HM, Netherlands
Wonderful! Happy birthday with lots of cake!
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SuzanneGM, United States of America
Happy belated birthday - I really enjoyed reading about you - thank you for sharing your interests!
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betslets, United States of America
Another Belated Happy Birthday Greeting -- this time from South Texas, USA... Many Blessings and wishes for many years to come.
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Braam, Australia
Many Happy Returns, Alice, from Sydney, Australia. I enjoyed meeting you via your interview, & I will try to find some of your books here, hopefully in English translation. You are definitely a "kindred soul" to other writers. Cheerio, Bev x
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lovparis, Netherlands
Dear Alice, wishing you all the best. I hope one day, I can send you a postcard. Lots of love X
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Lario, France
A very beautiful card for June in Aland

I hope to receive one ...Thank you
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