Magazine article New Internationalist

Woman of the Ashes

Magazine article New Internationalist

Woman of the Ashes

Article excerpt

Woman of the Ashes by Mia Couto, translated from Portuguese by David Brookshaw (World Editions, ISBN 9781642860399) worldeditions.org ····

Mozambican author Mia Couto is an exquisite prose stylist who frequently delves into the history and traditions of his country to construct compelling narratives that speak of the colonial condition and the struggle for freedom. His latest novel, the first in a projected trilogy, is set at the start of the 19th century in the State of Gaza, which covered the southern half of what is now Mozambique. Ngungunyane, one of the last powerful African rulers, is engaged in a desperate effort to maintain his empire in the face of the encroaching Portuguese colonizers.

The story is told from the alternating viewpoints of Imani, a young girl of the VaChopi people, and Germano de Melo, a Portuguese sergeant sent to fortify an isolated military outpost. …

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