Friday, March 9, 2012

Sleepwalking Land - Mia Couto

I ordered this online because I had read about the author being a celebrated African writer and that the book had been chosen as one of the 12 best African books of the twentieth century.

It's the story of an old man and a young boy who are wandering a road in their war torn country, Mozambique.    They discover a journal of another displaced young man in an abandoned bus.  Their circumstances and the story in the journal are interwoven in a dream-like manner to portray the devastation and upheaval of war.  This style is challenging to follow and though a short book, it took me several evenings to read.

The author paints the landscape and characters in wispy images.  A quote I noted:
p. 39 - "Ideas, we all know, are not born in people's heads.  They begin somewhere out there, loose wisps of smoke swirling directionless in their search for a befitting mind."

I can't say I'd recommend the book, but it was a different choice.

Published: 1988 (English translation 2006)  Read: February 2012  Genre: Fiction listing

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