Pensativities: Selected Essays: 14 (Biblioasis International Translation Series (14))

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9781771960076: Pensativities: Selected Essays: 14 (Biblioasis International Translation Series (14))
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BY THE FINALIST FOR THE 2015 MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE
THE WINNER OF THE 2014 NEUSTADT PRIZE
AND THE WINNER OF THE 2013 CAMÕES PRIZE

"One of the greatest living writers in the Portuguese language."—Philip Graham, The Millions

"Subtle and elegant."—The Wall Street Journal

"At once deadpan and beguiling."—The Times Literary Supplement

"To understand what makes António 'Mia' Emílio Leite Couto special—even extraordinary—we have to loosen our grip on the binary that distinguishes between 'the West' and 'Africa.' Couto is 'white' without not being African, and as an 'African' writer he's one of the most important figures in a global Lusophone literature that stretches across three continents."—The New Inquiry

What would Barack Obama's 2004 campaign have looked like if it unfolded in an African nation? What does it mean to be an African writer today? How do writers and poets from all continents teach us to cross the sertão, the savannah, the barren places where we're forced to walk within ourselves? Bringing together the best pieces from his previously untranslated nonfiction collections, alongside new material presented here for the first time in any language, Pensativities offers English readers a taste of Mia Couto as essayist, lecturer, and journalist—with essays on cosmopolitanism, poverty, culture gaps, conservation, and more.


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Review:

Praise for Pensativities

The essays of Pensativities ... confirm Couto’s status as a public intellectual."
The Guardian

"Remarkable ... If his recent Neustadt Prize is any indication, [Couto] is a presumptive Nobel Prize-winning writer that we ... should be reading." National Post

"For [Mia Couto], the postcolonial project is not primarily political or economic; it is humanistic in nature, and literary in its means. Its aim is to reconcile history and myth, past and present, subjugator and subject. It brings together black and white, male and female, Africa and the West, young and old, the city and the bush... When reading Couto, it sometimes seems that it is not only the fate of Mozambique or even Africa that is at stake, but that of the whole world." Ryu Spaeth, Music & Literature

If there is an overarching drive that threads the collection together, it’s Couto’s commitment to recognize history’s numerous flaws, and to use this history to embrace a diverse future, full of 'hybridities' of both self and cultural environs ... A fine writer who deserves a wide North American audience ... [Couto] is a constant witness to a country flush with nouveau riche and mass poverty trying to figure out its place in both Africa and the world.” Numéro Cinq

"[Having] helped birth ... the global literary scene’s love affair with African fiction, Couto is a polymath who not only sustains a lively scientific career but is also a former political activist once deeply involved in the fight for his country’s independence." OZY




Praise for Pensativities

“The essays of Pensativities ... confirm Couto’s status as a public intellectual."
―The Guardian

"Remarkable ... If his recent Neustadt Prize is any indication, [Couto] is a presumptive Nobel Prize-winning writer that we ... should be reading."National Post

"For [Mia Couto], the postcolonial project is not primarily political or economic; it is humanistic in nature, and literary in its means. Its aim is to reconcile history and myth, past and present, subjugator and subject. It brings together black and white, male and female, Africa and the West, young and old, the city and the bush... When reading Couto, it sometimes seems that it is not only the fate of Mozambique or even Africa that is at stake, but that of the whole world."―Ryu Spaeth, Music & Literature

“If there is an overarching drive that threads the collection together, it’s Couto’s commitment to recognize history’s numerous flaws, and to use this history to embrace a diverse future, full of 'hybridities' of both self and cultural environs ... A fine writer who deserves a wide North American audience ... [Couto] is a constant witness to a country―flush with nouveau riche and mass poverty―trying to figure out its place in both Africa and the world.”―Numéro Cinq

"[Having] helped birth ... the global literary scene’s love affair with African fiction, Couto is a polymath who not only sustains a lively scientific career but is also a former political activist once deeply involved in the fight for his country’s independence."―OZY


About the Author:

Mia Couto, an environmental biologist from Mozambique, is the author of 25 books of fiction, essays and poems in his native Portuguese. Couto’s novels and short story collections have been translated into 20 languages. Two of his novels have been made into feature films. His work has been awarded important literary prizes in Mozambique, South Africa, Portugal, Italy and Brazil. His books have been bestsellers in Africa, Europe and Latin America. Six of Couto’s books have been translated into English in the United Kingdom: two short story collections by Heinemann and four novels by Serpent’s Tail. In 2007 he was the first African author to win the Latin Union Award for Romance Languages; in 2013 he was awarded the €100,000 Camões Prize for Literature, in recognition of his life’s work. In 2014 he received the $50,000 Neustadt Prize for Literature, and in 2015 he was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize.

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