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Speaking the Postcolonial Nation

Interviews with Writers from Angola and Mozambique


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 Ondjaki

← 94 | 95 →Interview with Ondjaki


ONDJAKI is a pen name of Ndalu de Almeida, who was born in 1977 in Luanda. The memories from his childhood spent in the Angolan capital inspired him to write the novel Bom Dia, Camaradas (2001; translated as Good Morning Comrades, 2008) and the collection of short stories Os da Minha Rua [The Ones from my Street] (2007). After completing secondary education in a public school in Luanda, he moved to Portugal where he was awarded a degree in sociology by ISCTE in Lisbon in 2002. He published his first book, the poetry collection Actu Sanguíneu (2000), after winning second prize in the António Jacinto literary competition. Since then, he has published several books of poetry, short stories, novels and children literature. He was awarded the Grande Prémio de Conto Camilo Castelo Branco 2007 for Os da Minha Rua and his children’s book Avó Dezanove e o Segredo do Soviético (2008; translated as Granma Nineteen and the Soviet’s Secret, 2014) won the Prémio Jabuti, the most important Brazilian literary prize for children literature. His novela O Assobiador (2002; translated as The Whistler, 2008) was also much acclaimed.

Besides his literary production, Ondjaki experiments with different forms of art and cultural activity. He has been involved in amateur theatre, he wrote the play Os Vivos, o Morto e o Peixe-Frito [The Alive Ones, the Dead One and the Fried Fish] (2009) and he has had two individual art exhibitions. He also writes scripts for...

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