Angola and the Republic of Dreamers

analysis

Locked down, locked in, many of us have had time to read more books than ever before. Readers, passionate about their own favourite books, are curious to know what writers have been reading during this bleak and lonely period. What was already on their shelves, what did they borrow, buy or read online?

In this, the second series of Reflexions: Reading in the present tense, Ingrid de Kok and Mark Heywood continue to invite established and younger writers and other creative artists to reflect on a text that moved them, intellectually engaged them, frightened them or made them laugh. Our reviewer today is Angelo Fick who reviews The Society of Reluctant Dreamers by José Eduardo Agualusa.

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There is a long tradition of connecting storytelling and dreaming. In many societies, the storyteller retreats to the dreamworld and returns bearing tales, often for the enlightenment and instruction of their listeners. In postcolonial African polities, many writers have taken on the roles and responsibilities of traditional storytellers, using fiction to allow their readers to make meaningful sense of the world we live in.

José Eduardo Agualusa, born in Angola, has published nearly thirty books and is among the most exciting contemporary African...

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