Couto
2015 Longlist

The Tuner of Silences

Translated from the Portuguese by David Brookshaw
artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

Mwanito Vitalício was eleven when he saw a woman for the first time, and the sight so surprised him he burst into tears.

Mwanito’s been living in a big-game park for eight years. The only people he knows are his father, his brother, an uncle, and a servant. He’s been told that the rest of the world is dead, that all roads are sad, that they wait for an apology from God. In the place his father calls Jezoosalem, Mwanito has been told that crying and praying are the same thing. Both, it seems, are forbidden.

The eighth novel by The New York Times-acclaimed Mia Couto, The Tuner of Silences is the story of Mwanito’s struggle to reconstruct a family history that his father is unable to discuss. With the young woman’s arrival in Jezoosalem, however, the silence of the past quickly breaks down, and both his father’s story and the world are heard once more.

The Tuner of Silences was heralded as one of the most important books to be published in France in 2011 and remains a shocking portrait of the intergenerational legacies of war.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Mia
Couto

Mia Couto, born in Mozambique in 1955, is among the most prominent Portuguese-language writers working today. After studying medicine and biology, he worked as a journalist and headed several national newspapers and magazines in Mozambique. Couto has been awarded the Camões Prize for Literature and the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature, among other awards. He was also short-listed for the 2017 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize in 2015. He lives in Maputo, Mozambique, where he works as a biologist. Photo Credit: Pedro Soares

Mia Couto, born in Mozambique in 1955, is among the most prominent Portuguese-language writers working today. After studying medicine and biology, he worked as a journalist and headed several national newspapers and magazines in Mozambique. Couto has been awarded the Camões Prize for Literature and the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature, among other awards. He was also short-listed for the 2017 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize in 2015. He lives in Maputo, Mozambique, where he works as a biologist. Photo Credit: Pedro Soares

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR David
Brookshaw

Born in London, David Brookshaw is an emeritus professor at the School of Modern Languages at the University of Bristol.  He specialises in comparative literature, translation, and postcolonial Portuguese literature.  He has translated works by Mia Couto, and Onésimo Almeida and compiled an anthology of stories by the Portuguese author José Rodriguez.

Born in London, David Brookshaw is an emeritus professor at the School of Modern Languages at the University of Bristol.  He specialises in comparative literature, translation, and postcolonial Portuguese literature.  He has translated works by Mia Couto, and Onésimo Almeida and compiled an anthology of stories by the Portuguese author José Rodriguez.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

By meshing the richness of African beliefs into the western framework of the novel, Mia Couto creates a mysterious and surreal epic (novel) and characters.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
27/09/2012
Country
Mozambique
Original Language
Portuguese
Author
Publisher
Biblioasis
Translator
David Brookshaw
Translation
Translated from the Portuguese by David Brookshaw

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