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Speaking the Postcolonial Nation

Interviews with Writers from Angola and Mozambique

Series:

Ana Mafalda Leite, Sheila Khan, Jessica Falconi and Kamila Krakowska

This volume brings together interviews on the topic of the postcolonial nation and its narrations with prominent writers from Angola and Mozambique. The interviewees offer personal insights into the history of post-independence Angola and Mozambique and into the role of the intellectual elite in the complex processes of deconstructing colonial heritage and (re)constructing national identity in a multinational or multiethnic state. Their testimonies provide a parallel narrative that complements the many fictional narrators found in Angolan and Mozambican novels, short stories and poems. The authors interviewed in the book are Luandino Vieira, Ana Paula Tavares, Boaventura Cardoso, José Eduardo Agualusa, Ondjaki and Pepetela from Angola; and João Paulo Borges Coelho, Marcelo Panguana, Mia Couto, Paulina Chiziane, Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa and Luís Carlos Patraquim from Mozambique.
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Interview with José Eduardo Agualusa

Extract

JOSÉ EDUARDO AGUALUSA ALVES DA CUNHA, born on 13 December 1960 in Huambo, Angola, is a journalist and writer. He studied agronomy and forestry in Lisbon, before becoming a well-known name in world literature. His acute perception and capacity for questioning the roots and cultural richness of Angolan history has offered readers novels such as A Conjura [The Conspiracy] (1989), A Feira dos Assombrados [The Market of the Damned] (1992), Estação das Chuvas (1996; translated as The Rainy Season, 2009), Nação Crioula (1997; translated as Creole, 2002), O Vendedor de Passados (2006; translated as The Book of Chameleons, 2006) and As Mulheres do Meu Pai (2007; translated as My Father’s Wives, 2010). His travel writing includes Um Estranho em Goa [A Stranger in Goa] (2000), Fronteiras Perdidas, Contos para Viajar [Lost borders, travelling tales] (1999) and Lisboa Africana (1993), a collaborative project on Lisbon’s African community.

He currently spends most of his time in Portugal, Angola and Brazil, working as a writer and journalist. His books have been translated into twenty languages. He writes monthly for the Portuguese magazine LER and weekly for the Angolan newspaper A Capital. He hosts the radio programme A Hora das Cigarras, about African music and poetry, on the channel RDP África. In 2006, he launched the Brazilian publisher Língua Geral, with Conceição Lopes and Fatima Otero, dedicated exclusively to Portuguese-language authors.

In your view, how has the Angolan nation been constructed over time, and as a...

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