Playful and full of warm humour, José Eduardo Agualusa’s dazzling human drama explores the thrills, hopes and dangers of radical change. Translated by Daniel Hahn.

This wild patchwork of a novel tells the story of Angola through Ludo, a woman who bricks herself into her apartment on the eve of Angolan independence. For the next 30 years she lives off vegetables and pigeons, and burns her furniture to stay warm. But the outside world slowly seeps in through snippets on the radio, voices from next door, glimpses of a man fleeing his pursuers and a note attached to a bird’s foot. Then one day she meets Sabalu, a young boy who climbs up to her terrace.

The Man Booker International Prize 2016
Published by
Harvill Secker
Publication date
José Eduardo Agualusa

José Eduardo Agualusa

About the Author

José Eduardo Agualusa was born in Huambo, Angola, in 1960.
More about José Eduardo Agualusa
Daniel Hahn

Daniel Hahn

About the Translator

Daniel Hahn is an award-winning writer, editor and translator.
More about Daniel Hahn

Other nominated books by Daniel Hahn

Book cover of Simpatia by Rodrigo Blanco Calderon showing a blurry image of a dog and it's reflection.