Literature Archive > Angola > José Eduardo Agualusa
José Eduardo Agualusa

José Eduardo Agualusa Alves da Cunha, born on 13th of December 1960, in Huambo, Angola, is a journalist and writer. He studied agronomy and forestry in Lisbon, before becoming a well-known name in world literature. His acute perception and capacity of questioning the roots and cultural richness of Angolan history has offered the readers such novels as A Conjura (1989) [The Conspiracy], A Feira dos Assombrados (1992) [The Market of the Damned], Estação das Chuvas (1996) [The Rainy Season], Nação Crioula (1997) [Creole], and O Vendedor de Passados (2006) [The Book of Chameleons]. His travel writing includes Um Estranho em Goa (2000) [A Stranger in Goa], Fronteiras Perdidas, contos para viajar (1999) [Lost Borders, traveling tales], among other works as Lisboa Africana (1993), a collaborative project on Lisbon’s African community. He currently spends most of his time in Portugal, Angola and Brasil working as a writer and journalist. His books have been translated into twenty languages. He writes monthly for the Portuguese magazine LER and weekly for the Angolan newspaper A Capital. He hosts the radio program A Hora das Cigarras, about African music and poetry, on the channel RDP África. In 2006, he launched, with Conceição Lopes and Fatima Otero, the Brazilian publisher Língua Geral [General Language], dedicated exclusively to Portuguese-language authors. Except mentioned books he also published D. Nicolau Água-Rosada e Outras Estórias Verdadeiras e Inverosímeis (short stories, 1990), O Coração dos Bosques (poetry, 1991), Estranhões e Bizarrocos (for children, 2000), A Substância do Amor E Outras Crónicas (chronicles, 2000), O Homem Que Parecia Um Domingo (short stories, 2002), O Ano Em Que Zumbi Tomou o Rio (novel, 2002), Catálogo de Sombras (short stories, 2003), Manual Prático de Levitação (short stories, 2005), A Girafa Que Comia Estrelas (novella, 2005)Passageiros Em Trânsito (short stories, 2006), O Filho do Vento (novella, 2006), Na Rota das Especiarias (guide, 2008), Barroco Tropical (novel, 2009), Milagrário Pessoal (novel, 2010), Teoria Geral do Esquecimento (novel, 2012), A Educação Sentimental dos Pássaros (novel, 2012), A Vida No Céu (novel, 2013), A Rainha Ginga (novel, 2014). 

Some of his novels were translated into English by Daniel Hahn:

Creole (Nação Crioula—novel, 2002)

The Book of Chameleons (O Vendedor de Passados, novel, 2006): 

My Father's Wives (As Mulheres de Meu Pai, novel, 2008);

Rainy Season (Estação das Chuvas, novel, 2009).


The Nation by José Eduardo Agualusa:

"I think, in the first place, there is no one Angolan nation; there exist many Angolan nations. Angola is a country with many nations and these nations live, or are trying to live, within the same space. There’s nothing surprising about this, really, because most countries in the world are like this. If you are talking about a national literature, you need more than five writers, it is not very many. But we like to be optimistic. And the potential is there because this is a country full of stories, a huge number of stories which need to be told. So, the potential is there. Then, there’s also the tradition of telling stories. People like to tell stories. That’s how we were taught. And generally speaking, that’s something that’s true: people like to tell stories. So, there is the potential."


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