Sleepwalking Land

Sleepwalking Land

4.0 1
by Mia Couto
     
 

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ISBN-10: 185242897X

ISBN-13: 9781852428976

Pub. Date: 04/01/2006

Publisher: Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd

“On almost every page of this witty magical realist whodunit, we sense Couto’s delight on those places where language slips officialdom’s asphyxiating grasp.”—The New York Times Book Review on The Last Flight of the Flamingo

“The most prominent of the younger generation of writers in Portuguese-speaking Africa,

Overview

“On almost every page of this witty magical realist whodunit, we sense Couto’s delight on those places where language slips officialdom’s asphyxiating grasp.”—The New York Times Book Review on The Last Flight of the Flamingo

“The most prominent of the younger generation of writers in Portuguese-speaking Africa, Couto passionately and sensitively describes everyday life in poverty-stricken Mozambique.”—Guardian (London)

“Quite unlike anything else I have read from Africa.”—Doris Lessing

As the civil war rages in 1980s Mozambique, an old man and a young boy, refugees from the war, seek shelter in a burnt-out bus. Among the effects of a dead passenger, they come across a set of notebooks that tell of his life. As the boy reads the story to his elderly companion, this story and their own develop in tandem. Written in 1992, Mia Couto’s first novel is a powerful indictment of the suffering war brings.

Born in 1955 in Mozambique, Mia Couto ran the AIM news agency during the revolutionary struggle. He now lives in Maputo where he works as an environmental biologist and heads the Mozambique side of the Limpopo Transnational Park. In 2007 he was the first African author to win the Latin Union Award for Romance Languages; in 2013 he was awarded the €100,000 Camões Prize for Literature, in recognition of his life’s work. In 2014 he received the $50,000 Neustadt Prize for Literature, and in 2015 he was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781852428976
Publisher:
Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd
Publication date:
04/01/2006
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.50(d)

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Sleepwalking Land 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
CR-Buell More than 1 year ago
Mia Couto's Sleepwalking Land is set during Mozambique's civil war, but it is not a novel specifically about Mozambique, it's about the entire post-colonial continent. This is a land where the past and present war for control of the future. Or perhaps it's not as grand as all that. Maybe it's just cruel and greedy people killing each other, or desperate people fighting in any way they can to survive. In the end it doesn't matter what the war is about; all that matters is that there is war. An old man and a young boy, Tuahir and Muidinga, travel a "dead" road trying to get away from the war. They take shelter in a burnt out bus, and there find the notebooks of another traveler, Kindzu. The notebooks describe Kindzu's own journey to escape the war, and every night Muidinga reads the story to Tuahir. In alternating chapters we are treated to these parallel journeys, and as the story progresses, as it gets stranger and stranger, these two narratives begin to intertwine. Sleepwalking Land is a work of Magic Realism, and as such Couto, perhaps inevitably, gets compared to Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But this is a distinctly African work, and has much more in common with the works of Ben Okri. Perhaps we can call it "Animist Realism". Though I find Couto to be more in control of his novel than Orki was with The Famished Road; the story is tighter, the prose more precise. If you're looking for something a little different, something both strange and profound, give Sleepwalking Land a try.