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The Worlds of Mia Couto

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Edited By Kristian Van Haesendonck

Mia Couto has been recognised internationally as one of the most important African authors of our times. His rapidly growing opus shifts fluidly between various modes of writing, mixing historical elements with poetic and autobiographic ones, in often unpredictable and intellectually challenging ways. With each new book, the writer multiplies various original wor(l)ds, creating new challenges for his readers. Each of Couto’s texts opens up a rhizomic world which in turn contains (an)other world(s), inviting us to review and adjust our earlier interpretations of his oeuvre as a whole.

In The Worlds of Mia Couto a diverse group of literary experts sets out to explore Mia Couto’s oeuvre in relation not only to the imaginary worlds created by the author but also to the complex geographical, cultural and literary contexts that are woven into the texture of his work. While Couto has increasingly received scholarly attention, the international connections and connectivities of his work have been largely neglected so far. This book endeavours to show that Couto’s work can be read beyond its particular Mozambican and Lusophone context by paying attention to the broader African and global literary contexts, including Latin America, Asia and Europe. Mia Couto’s work is, for instance, of particular interest for rethinking, from the margins, established concepts of «World Literature», «globalisation» and the «postcolonial». The various chapters of The Worlds of Mia Couto focus thus on some of the – often unexpected – international connections across his fictional and non-fictional work beyond the Lusophone literary space, crossing cultural, linguistic and gender boundaries.

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