The New York Times
Mia Couto's first novel, judged one of the twelve best African books of the 20th century
Uzodinma IwealaMany great novels have shown a world torn to shreds by the brutality of war. To do so, their authors ground their texts in the details of destruction and decay. But Couto’s novel stands apart: it shows the world that war creates, a dreamscape of uncertainty where characters and readers alike marvel not at the abnormal becoming normal but at the way we come to accept the impossible as reality.
The New York Times
Publishers WeeklyHeralded as one of the 12 best African books of the 20th century by the Zimbabwe International Book Fair, Couto's first novel, a colorfully harsh portrayal of war-torn Mozambique, is as seductive in detail as it is loaded with symbolism. Two refugees of the country's bloody protracted civil war, begun with its independence in 1975, seek safety in a charred bus. Muidinga, a boy recovering from illness, and Tuahir, an elderly companion from the refugee camp they have fled, bide their time by reading the notebooks of a nearby corpse of a young man, Kindzu. The entries recount, in a wonderfully rich idiom, Kindzu making his way in a shattered world, including his attempts to become a naparama, or warrior of justice. As he explores a beached ship, he comes upon a beautiful woman named Farida, who provides a mission worthy of his ambitions: to find and return her lost son, Gaspar. Like Garcia Marquez, Couto, a white writer from Mozambique who is the author of The Flight of the Flamingo and Under the Frangipani, flirts with magic realism to compound the chaos of a newly independent state. He delivers a brutally absorbing tale of those who suffered a devastated country's vicissitudes. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
- Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd
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- 5.00(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.50(d)
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