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About the book
  • Published: 10 July 2015
  • ISBN: 9781448182916
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 208

Confession of the Lioness

Formats & editions

A passionate novel confronting tradition and superstition, nature and man, from ‘one of the richest and most important authors in Africa’ (Henning Mankell)

Shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award 2017
A finalist for the 2015 Man Booker International Prize

My sister Silência was the most recent victim of the lions, which have been tormenting our village for some weeks now…

When Mariamar Mpepe’s sister is killed by lions, her father imprisons her at home. With only the ghost of her sister for company, she dreams of escape, and of the hunter who abandoned her years before.

I’m the last of the hunters. And this is my last hunt.

Archangel Bullseye, born into a long line of marksmen, is summoned back to Kulumani. But as he tracks the lions in the surrounding wilderness, his suspicions grow – that the darkest threats lie not outside the village, but at its very heart.

What was happening was what always happened: The lions were coming back…

Set in a forgotten corner of East Africa haunted by superstition, tradition and the shades of civil war, this is a struggle that blurs the savagery of nature, and the savagery of man.

  • Pub date: 10 July 2015
  • ISBN: 9781448182916
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 208

About the Author

Mia Couto

Mia Couto, born in Mozambique in 1955, is one of the most prominent writers in Portuguese-speaking Africa. His books, deeply rooted in the political upheavals, languages and narratives of his native land, have been published in more than 20 countries. He has won many awards, including the 2014 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and has been selected for the 2015 Man Booker International Prize shortlist. He lives in Maputo, and works as a biologist.

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Praise for Confession of the Lioness

“Somber and masterfully wrought... Sings with the musical nuance of a poem”

LA Times

“Written in prose both aphoristic and lush, which suggests rural speech yet creates a far richer texture, Confession of the Lioness opens as an exploration of a crisis that has multiple roots yet reaches a denouement that blames Kulumani’s problems on a single malaise”

Stephen Henighan, The Times Literary Supplement

“A passionate denunciation of patriarchy and violence against women in an east African village... A radical call for change framed in a semitraditional form; a book of profound disenchantment written in language that seeks to re-enchant the world”

Hedley Twidle, Financial Times

“Replete with some of the most stunning metaphors I've ever encountered... Confessions of the Lioness left me shaken, but also utterly entranced”


“This remarkable novel impresses on many levels... A beautifully crafted tale about sound and fury, the living and the dead”


“Brookshaw's translation offers an English-language version that is infused with the music of the original... Couto renders the politics of everyday living poetically but his focus on the status and treatment of women displays a stout refusal to look away from a harsh reality - fiction brings us closer to the truth here than mere facts ever could”

Ellah Allfrey, Guardian

“One of the richest and most important authors in Africa”

Henning Mankell

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