Daniel Hahn

Jose Eduardo Agualusa was born in Huambo in 1960 and is one of the leading young literary voices from Angola, and from the Portuguese language today. His first book, The Conspiracy, a historical novel set in Sao Paulo de Luanda between 1880 and 1911, paints a fascinating portrait of a society marked by opposites, in which those who can adapt have any chance of success. Creole, which has evoked comparisons with Bruce Chatwin's The Viceroy of Ouidah, was awarded the Portuguese Grand Prize for Literature, while The Book of Chameleons won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2007 ('not since Gregor Samsa's metamorphosis have we had such a convincing non-human narrator' Independent). Arcadia will publish The Rainy Season, which depicts the devastating history of an Angola tormented by 30 years of civil war, in 2009. Agualusa divides his time between Angola, Brazil and Portugal.

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