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The Last Flight of the Flamingo

Overview

“A wonderful mix of magical realism and wordplay that has a similar tone to Márquez at his best. Couto writes in an idiom all his own that feels authentically African.”—Ink

In Mozambique after the end of the civil war, local soldiers have been unaccountably blown up. When it begins to happen to UN peacekeepers, a high-level delegation visits the village of Tizangara to initiate an investigation. As the UN investigation unfolds, Mia Couto brilliantly shows how the perceptions of ...

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Overview

“A wonderful mix of magical realism and wordplay that has a similar tone to Márquez at his best. Couto writes in an idiom all his own that feels authentically African.”—Ink

In Mozambique after the end of the civil war, local soldiers have been unaccountably blown up. When it begins to happen to UN peacekeepers, a high-level delegation visits the village of Tizangara to initiate an investigation. As the UN investigation unfolds, Mia Couto brilliantly shows how the perceptions of events both inside and outside the country are altered when interpreted from an African perspective.

Mia Couto was born in 1955 in Mozambique and is the most prominent Portuguese-speaking African writer. He now lives in Maputo, where he manages the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park.

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Editorial Reviews

Dennis Drabelle
As one might expect of an author who also works as a national-park biologist, the eponymous flamingo figures prominently in the story. This is an impressive novel, but it may not be for those whose most pressing concern is to find out whodunit.
— The Washington Post
Rob Nixon
The Last Flight of the Flamingo lampoons bureaucrats whose programmatic mentalities leave them ill attuned to the voices that speak from the grave. Couto lays bare those imaginative failures that masquerade as visionary reforms: as one character puts it, ''Repairs have been carried out in the sky, and only rust has been falling from the clouds.'' This, then, is a protest novel of sorts, a cry against the debasements of politics and language inflicted upon ordinary inhabitants of the ''developing'' world. But fortunately for the reader, The Last Flight is a serious novel that doesn't take itself too seriously. On almost every page of this witty magic realist whodunit, we sense Couto's delight in those places where language slips officialdom's asphyxiating grasp.
— The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781852428136
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd
  • Publication date: 5/1/2005
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,267,177
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mia Couto was born in 1955 in Mozambique and is the most prominent writer in Portuguese-speaking Africa. He has been active as a journalist and during the revolutionary struggle headed the AIM news agency. He now lives in Maputo where he works as an environmental biologist and runs the Mozambique part of the Kruger National Park.

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