The brilliant new novel from the winners of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, José Eduardo Agualusa and his translator Daniel Hahn
WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD 2017
A finalist for the Man Booker International Prize 2016
The brilliant new novel from the winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.
On the eve of Angolan independence, Ludo bricks herself into her apartment, where she will remain for the next thirty years. She lives off vegetables and pigeons, burns her furniture and books to stay alive and keeps herself busy by writing her story on the walls of her home.
The outside world slowly seeps into Ludo’s life through snippets on the radio, voices from next door, glimpses of a man fleeing his pursuers and a note attached to a bird’s foot. Until one day she meets Sabalu, a young boy from the street who climbs up to her terrace.
“A remarkable novel from one of Angola’s most notable storytellers”
Angel Gurria-Quintana, Financial Times, Books of the year
“The light detachment and readability of Louis de Bernières at his best, but combined with the sharp insights of JM Coetzee… Agualusa’s writing is a delight throughout”
“In the hands of a literary expert and sensitive empathist like Agualusa, Ludo’s life story is irresistible”
Jane Graham, Big Issue
“Agualusa has already become one of lusophone Africa's most distinctive voices. In a line that was surely included to bait book reviewers, one of the novel's characters declares: 'A man with a good story is practically a king.' If this is true, then Agualusa can count himself among the continent's new royals”
“The book is a wonderful mix of life and dramas real and imagine worlds and how someone avoids madness just in more than thirty years apart from the real world… This book shows why we maybe should be trying to get more books out of the Lusophone world.”
“A fascinating dark horse”
Eileen Battersby, Irish Times