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Speaking the Postcolonial Nation

Interviews with Writers from Angola and Mozambique


Edited By 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 Marcelo Panguana


MARCELO PANGUANA, Mozambican writer and journalist, was born on 30 March 1951 in colonial Lourenço Marques (now Maputo). In 1971 he started at university but his chemistry studies were interrupted because of the war. Only after independence, in 1976, did he resume his studies, then in the field of oil refining.

He started his literary career writing poetry and contributing to the cultural pages of newspapers and magazines such as Domingo, Notícias and Tempo, among others. At the beginning of the 1990s he created and ran Xipalapala, a successful literary supplement of Notícias. In the 1980s he joined the AEMO – Association of Mozambican Writers – and became a very active member. Not only did he occupy different positions in AEMO’s management and assembly during the three decades of its existence, but he was also a director of the association’s magazine Lua Nova (founded in 1988), which disseminated the works of Mozambican writers. Earlier in that period, he also collaborated in Charrua, a literary magazine which became a landmark in the history of Mozambican literature. Launched in 1984 and with only eight issues published, Charrua brought together a group of Mozambican writers and intellectuals (the Charrua generation) who aspired to change and renew Mozambican literature, which had become a means of social and political propaganda.

His first book, the collection of short stories As Vozes que Falam de Verdade [The Voices that Speak of Truth], was published in 1987. Since then, he has published several...

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