A General Theory Of Oblivion by Jose Eduardo AgualusaA General Theory Of Oblivion by Jose Eduardo Agualusa

A General Theory Of Oblivion

byJose Eduardo AgualusaTranslated byDaniel Hahn

Paperback | December 15, 2015

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As the country goes through various political upheavals from colony to socialist republic to civil war to peace and capitalism, the world outside seeps into Ludo's life through snippets on the radio, voices from next door, glimpses of someone peeing on a balcony, or a man fleeing his pursuers. 
A General Theory of Oblivion is a perfectly crafted, wild patchwork of a novel, playing on a love of storytelling and fable.

About The Author

José Eduardo Agualusa, a writer and journalist, is one of the leading literary voices in Angola and the Portuguese language today. His books have been translated into 25 languages. Four of his books have been translated into English: Creole (2002), winner of the Portuguese Grand Prize for Literature; The Book of Chameleons (2006), whic...
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Details & Specs

Title:A General Theory Of OblivionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:250 pages, 6.47 × 5.51 × 0.75 inPublished:December 15, 2015Publisher:Steerforth PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0914671316

ISBN - 13:9780914671312

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Customer Reviews of A General Theory Of Oblivion

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great This is a magnificent book. No wonder it has been nominated for so many awards
Date published: 2017-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning This book is stunning; poetic and concise, with a bit of a magical feel. This is the story of Ludo, who shuts herself into her apartment by building a brick wall on the even of Angolan Independence. She will stay here for the next 30 years, struggling to survive. First, she uses up her stores, then she begins eating fruit from her terrace, eventually she turns to pigeons for sustenance – all the while burning books and furniture for warmth. Along the way, we are introduced to a variety of players in the Angolan war, as well as one unexpected character who changes the course for Ludo. This story is told through narrative, prose, and Ludo’s journal entries. There are so many beautiful passages in this book but this one, taken from Ludo’s journal, resonated deeply with me: I carve out verses short as prayers words are legions of demons expelled I cut adverbs pronouns I spare my wrists This is a short and powerful read – a true work of art. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-05

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Editorial Reviews

Winner of the 2017 Dublin International Literary Award!Shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2016Shortlisted for the Three Percent Best Translated Book Award"Like Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa and Argentine Jorge Luis Borges, Portuguese-Angolan writer José Eduardo Agualusa is a literary trickster who dazzles with his artificial fictional creations... Agualusa is a master of varied genre structure, and he has great fun shifting from spy novel to pastoral narrative to interior reflection, but his heart is deeply invested in his characters, and each individual's story burns itself into the reader to make us reconsider our capacity for empathy and understanding." — Minneapolis Star Tribune "A master storyteller...It’s a tribute to Agualusa’s storytelling that the bittersweet redemption found by his characters feels authentic; he and they have earned it." — Washington Independent Review of Books "The story challenges what we imagine to be the clearly drawn lines between 'hero' and 'villain' and forces a reconsideration of history and our fictions. It does what the best of literature ought to do: keep us glued to our seats, unable to break away." — Maaza Mengiste, Words Without Borders"Each page brimming with imagination" — The Irish Independent"In this tale, based on real-life events, one of Angola’s most inventive novelists has found the perfect vehicle to examine his country’s troubled recent past. . . Alongside Mozambique’s Mia Couto (shortlisted for this year’s Man Booker International), Agualusa has already become one of lusophone Africa’s most distinctive voices." — Financial Times"The translation ... is seamless, with the light detachment and readability of Louis de Bernières at his best, but combined with the sharp insights of JM Coetzee ... Agualusa’s writing is a delight throughout, as he opens up the world of Portuguese-speaking Africa to the English-speaking community. And what a world it is." —The Scotsman "Hahn is one of our most experienced translators. Such experience shows in tiny interventions to guide the English reader through the chaos of the Angolan battlefield ... and in his taking confident ownership of certain descriptive passages, ensuring the music of the original is conveyed along with the meaning... a timely homage to the prize of Angolan independence." —The Independent "A General Theory of Oblivion is both more and less than its title; it certainly provides a kind of blueprint of the encroaching obscurity inherent to living and dying—at times bemoaning its certainty, at times celebrating the assured darkness—but it is also a general theory of love, of life, and, finally, of literature. Working in the fertile ground between fiction, philosophy, and enchantment, Agualusa has accomplished something strange and marvelous here, a whirling dervish of joy and pain, blood and memory, whose many high points I found myself re-reading immediately, eager to experience the shine of the prose like spun gold. It left me in awe of these stories we tell ourselves: those we need to survive, those that change us, and those that change with us." — Dustin Illingworth, Quarterly Conversation"Without doubt one of the most important Portuguese-language writers of his generation." - António Lobo Antunes"Cross J.M. Coetzee with Gabriel García Márquez and you've got José Eduardo Agualusa, Portugal's next candidate for the Nobel Prize." - Alan Kaufman, author of Matches PRAISE FOR THE BOOK OF CHAMELONS "Humorous and quizzical, with a light touch on weighty themes, the narrative darts about with lizard-like colour and velocity. Agulausa's delightful novel skitters across minefields with grace and poise." - Boyd Tonkin, The Independent."Ingenious, consistently taut and witty." - The Times Literary Supplement"Strange...elliptical...charming." - Guardian"A book as brisk as a thriller and as hot and alarming as the most powerful kind of dream." - Michael Pye, author of The Pieces from Berlin"A work of fierce originality." - The Independent"A subtle beguiling story of shifting identities." - KirkusPRAISE FOR CREOLE"One of the most powerful and most beautiful arguments against a stereotyped vision of Africa." - El País"Winged me into the lore of 19th-century Portuguese colonies and the slave trade." -Lisa Appignanesi, Independent Books of the Year"Captivates with Picaresque adventure and evocative impressions." --Maya Jaggi, Guardian