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José Eduardo Agualusa

José Eduardo Agualusa - foto Jorge Simao
José Eduardo Agualusa - foto Jorge Simao

(Angola, 1960) was, in 2007, the first African writer to win the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for the English translation of The Book of Chameleons, about a man who sells false pasts to wealthy Angolans. The jury praised the book for its "witty originality and profound humanity." In 2009 his latest book, My Father's Wives, appeared in Dutch translation; in it, an adopted woman from Lisbon seeks out her late father's life story in Africa, meeting eight widows and eighteen siblings in the process. Agualusa dives more deeply into the past with Een steen onder water (Creole), a colourful historical novel about colonial times and the slave trade. In A General Theory of Oblivion, which appears in Dutch translation during the festival, an agoraphobic woman barricades herself in her flat in Luanda. She remains there for three decades while her country goes through various political phases, moving from colony to socialist republic and from civil war to peace and capitalism. Agualusa previously attended the festival in 2009.


Archive available for: José Eduardo Agualusa

  • Winternachten 2016 – Saturday Night Unlimited

    Where Can You Hide?

    Four innocent young women looking for refuge. In Forgotten, José Eduardo Agualusa tells the story of Ludo, who locks herself in her home on the eve of Angola's independence. She stays there for three decades while wars rage outside. In The Book of Memory, Petina Gappah gives voice to an albino girl named Memory who is abused by her white adoptive father. The girl tells her shocking story from a jail cell. In Joanna Bator's novel Dark, almost Night, Alicja tries to uncover her deceased sister's secret in the abandoned house on the Polish-German border where she once lived with her family. And in his new novel Fire Stack, György Dragomán introduces Emma, a girl whose grandmother picks her up from an orphanage in the middle of the Romanian revolution.

  • Winternachten 2016 – Saturday Night Unlimited

    Seven Deadly Sins

    Pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, anger and sloth. The seven deadly sins are inseparable from literature, film and visual art. The festival asked seven authors to each choose one and write a fresh text about it. Tonight you'll hear sinful stories from home and abroad, with accompanying music by Dick van der Harst. A superb literary-musical programme to enjoy with abandon. José Eduardo Agualusa, Slavenka Drakulić, Mira Feticu, Petina Gappah, Daan Heerma van Voss, Andrej Kurkov and Neel Mukherjee read in their own language, with simultaneous translations projected in English and Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2016 – Friday Night Unlimited

    The text of my life: José Eduardo Agualusa

    In Filmhuis Studio A the festival's guest writers present their favourite literary texts and explain why a particular poem, novel excerpt, or song lyric influenced their life and work. Which memory, what feeling does this text call up for them? A continuous interview programme, in which the audience also talks with the writers. Hosted by Arjan Peters. In English

  • Winternachten 2009 – Winternachten vrijdagavond

    The Fake Nation

    Three writers on national identity and nationalism and how to write in opposition to it. In an essay Margriet de Moor wrote about 'a tawdry belief in the private myth ' of 'openness, tolerance and freethinking'. The Turkish writer and columnist Perihan Magden with her selfwilled language use ridicules the powers that be, such as the army, hoping to contribute to a further democratisation of her country. José Eduardo Agualusa in his work plays a sublime game with reality and fiction and so creates a new image of his native land Angola. His novel My Father's Women was launched duringWinternachten. Host: Pieter van den Blink.