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Voices, Languages, Discourses

Interpreting the Present and the Memory of Nation in Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé and Príncipe


Edited By Ana Mafalda Leite, Jessica Falconi, Kamila Krakowska, Sheila Kahn and Carmen Tindó Secco

This volume brings together a selection of interviews with writers and filmmakers from Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé and Príncipe in order to examine representations and images of national identity in the postcolonial narratives of these countries. It continues and completes the exploration of the postcolonial imaginary and identity of Portuguese-speaking Africa presented in the earlier volume of interviews Speaking the Postcolonial Nation: Interviews with Writers from Angola and Mozambique (2014).

Memory, history, migration and diaspora are core notions in the recreation and reconceptualization of the nation and its identities in Cape Verdean, Guinean and São Tomean literary and cinematographic culture. By assembling different generations of writers and filmmakers, with a wide variety of perspectives on the historical, social and cultural changes that have taken place in their countries, this book makes a valuable contribution to current debates on postcolonialism, nation and identity in these former Portuguese colonies.

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Corsino Fortes


Corsino António Fortes was born in Mindelo on Cape Verde’s São Vicente island on 14 February 1933; he was a writer, poet and diplomat. He served as the first ambassador of Cape Verde to Portugal from 1975 until 1981 following his country’s independence. He is a graduate in Law of the University of Lisbon (1966), chaired the Association of Cape Verde Writers (2003–2006) and is the author of some of the most significant works of Cape Verdean literature. He was a judge in Angola in the capital Luanda and Benguela and joined several governments in the Cape Verde Republic. Corsino Fortes’s first book Pão & Fonema [Bread & Phoneme], which appeared in 1974, made an immediate impact. After Pão & Fonema he published Arvore & Tambor [Tree and Drum] in 1986. He finished what he had long seen as a trilogy in 2001 with Pedras de Sol & Substância [Rocks of Sun and Substance] which was collected with the previous two books under the title A Cabeça Calva de Deus [The bald head of God] also in 2001, they were sagas on the freedom to the people. Sinos de Silêncio [Bells of Silence] was his very last book published in 2015. Cosino Fortes died in Mindelo, Cape Verde, on 24 July 2015, at the age of 82.

Q. How do you conceptualize your poetry? Do you think of your nation, as your poetry incorporates elements of the Cape...

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