Sunday, 17 January 2016

The latest book I have read ...

I have taken longer than I normally would just to absorb every little word and meaning behind apparently simple sentences Mia Couto has written in this book - Mulheres de Cinza (Women of ashes) said to be the first of group of three under the title of The Imperor's sand.

There's no doubt Mia Couto is a master of words, a constructor of new words and one of the Mozambican writers who mostly has disclosed the cultural richness of our former colony. 

The historic novel is set in the Southern Mozambican region which once was under the reign of Ngungunuyane, the last of the Gaza region leaders. The region is acknowledged as having been the second vastest empire in the African continent under the leadership of an African.

Ngungunuyane with his wives

Narrated by a young African girl from  the village of Nkokolani, where the  historic novel scenario is set, together with the assembly of letters written by a Portuguese Sargeant appointed as governor of same village it is a very interesting fictional recreation of real facts and characters, though in this first book Ngungunuyane isn't but an echo and an overheard fear.

"Life is like rope threading. One has to braid it until one doesn't distinguish its thread from one's fingers."

"Our roads have once had the shyness of rivers and the softness of women. They asked permission before being visible. Nowadays they take over the landscape and spread their huge legs ahead of time, like the leaders of the world."

"There are people who make out the sun into a mere patch of yellow and yet there are those who make out of a mere patch of yellow their sun." - on a Picasso's sentence.

"The most dangerous enemies are not the ones who have always hated you. Those you should fear the most are the ones who once were either close to you or had a fascination for you"

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