An old man and a young boy, refugees from a civil war, seek shelter in a burnt out bus. Among the effects of a dead passenger, they discover a set of notebooks that tell of his life. As the boy reads the story to his elderly companion, the tale gradually becomes part of their own lives. Sleepwalking Land, Mia Couto?s first novel, was an immediate success, and judged at the Zimbabwe Bookfair 2001 to be one of the 12 best African books of the 20th century. Set in the author?s native Mozambique, the novel examines the effects of war and devastation on a newly independent African nation. A sombre book, it reflects a moment in the history of Mozambique when the country could only go forward after settling its account with the bloody past. Deftly exploring the relationship between oral tradition and the written word, truth and fiction, memory and invention, this is a memorable book that captures a critical moment in Africa?s history.
About the Author
Mia Couto was born in 1955 in Mozambique and is the most prominent writer in Portuguese-speaking Africa. He has been active as a journalist and for several years headed the AIM news agency in Maputo. He now lives in Maputo where he works as an environmental biologist.
'On almost every page of this witty magic realist whodunit, we sense Couto's delight in those places where language slips officaldom's asphyxiating grasp', New York Times Book Review ?To read Mia Couto is to encounter a peculiarly African sensibility, a writer of fluid, fragmentary narratives? New Statesman ?Under the Frangipani is a powerful and trenchant evocation of life in a society traumatised by decades of war and poverty? New Internationalist