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2023 Longlist

Loose Ties

Translated from the original Portuguese by Sandra Tamele
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ABOUT
THE BOOK

A few weeks before her wedding, Angolan-born, Portugal-residing Vitoria is a runaway bride to an Angola she has no memory of. Desperate to connect with the mother she never knew, she establishes her base for her search at the home of a family friend who, with her twin daughters, introduce her to the three Luandas. A Luanda for the rich and powerful who are above the rules. Another Luanda for the aspirational middle-class who are flattered by any proximity to the rich and powerful. And yet another for the povo doing what they can to eke out a living in a city that sees them but chooses to ignore them. And what does the commanding, over-cologned, poetry-reciting General Zacarias Vindu know about her mother, a former Angolan independence cadre? A radio announcement in the presence of a new friend will lead her from Luanda to Huambo where her journey will take unexpected turns and where her questions are answered. Will the answers be to her satisfaction?

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Yara
Nakahanda Monteiro

Yara Nakahanda Monteiro is an Angolan novelist and poet, whose writing is centered on experiences of migration, afrodiasporic lives and Portuguese colonial past. Monteiro’s debut novel “Essa dama bate bué!” (2018) is translated into English as Loose Ties and has been studied in universities, worldwide. “Memórias, Aparições, Arritmias (2021)” won the Gloria de Sant’Anna Literary Prize for best poetry collection. Her stories and poetry have been published in various magazines. Monteiro is the co-writer of two art short film screenplays: “Path to the stars” (2022) and “The Island” (2022). She currently lives in Portugal.

 

Yara Nakahanda Monteiro is an Angolan novelist and poet, whose writing is centered on experiences of migration, afrodiasporic lives and Portuguese colonial past. Monteiro’s debut novel “Essa dama bate bué!” (2018) is translated into English as Loose Ties and has been studied in universities, worldwide. “Memórias, Aparições, Arritmias (2021)” won the Gloria de Sant’Anna Literary Prize for best poetry collection. Her stories and poetry have been published in various magazines. Monteiro is the co-writer of two art short film screenplays: “Path to the stars” (2022) and “The Island” (2022). She currently lives in Portugal.

 

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Sandra
Tamele

Sandra Tamele holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture but her love for literature spurred her to literary projects. In 2007, she published the first work that she translated and has since translated 17 novels and short story collections written by, among others, Nobel Literature Laureates Soyinka and Mahfouz . Understanding the importance of translation, in 2015 she started hosting an annual literary translation competition among young Mozambicans which led to the establishment of her publishing house, Editora Trinta Zero Nove, four years later. Tamele received the London Book Fair International Excellence for Literary Translation Initiatives Award in 2021.

Sandra Tamele holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture but her love for literature spurred her to literary projects. In 2007, she published the first work that she translated and has since translated 17 novels and short story collections written by, among others, Nobel Literature Laureates Soyinka and Mahfouz . Understanding the importance of translation, in 2015 she started hosting an annual literary translation competition among young Mozambicans which led to the establishment of her publishing house, Editora Trinta Zero Nove, four years later. Tamele received the London Book Fair International Excellence for Literary Translation Initiatives Award in 2021.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

Vitoria, the main character of this novel, was raised in Portugal by her grandparents and bears the marks of a trauma she can’t get over: she never met her mother. A few months before her wedding, Vitoria flees to Angola in search of her mother and her identity. In Luanda, she finds a place of striking social contrasts. Luanda is a city where the boundaries of tragedy and comedy seem blurred.

This book is both a story of love and of war, a contemporary tale that deals with the past, a call for the independence of women as political beings. And of their own bodies in search of freedom.

Yara Monteiro revisits a personal and collective history, in which the lives of expatriates who suffer the discomfort of a painful isolation are retraced. This novel is a deep, funny, and courageous novel that gives Angolan women a voice, while reflecting on identity issues.

–  Biblioteca Pública Municipal do Porto, Portugal

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
01/01/2021
Country
Angola
Original Language
Portuguese
Publisher
Paivapo Publishers
Translator
Sandra Tamele
Translation
Translated from the original Portuguese by Sandra Tamele

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