The Society of Reluctant Dreamers

by

Translated from by

Published: Forthcoming

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Book Description

José Eduardo Agualusa’s restless protagonist, Daniel Benchimol, spends his dreaming hours interviewing revolutionaries and writers. In this treacherous sleepscape, we find the Angolan anti-communist Jonas Savimbi, Muammar Gaddafi, hunched and hiding in a gutter, and Julio Cortázar as a great billowing tree, speaking to Daniel through an alphabet of clouds. He dreams wild dreams of people he’s never met, squinting at them as if submerged in the hazy waters of southern Angola.

When Daniel finds a camera on the beach, he becomes obsessed with the woman in the photos. Moira is a Mozambican artist with a similar preoccupation with her subconscious life – she stages her dreams in her artwork. The two meet, and together they explore the cloudy edges of their nightly visions, tugging at the fringed hem of the real. The Society of Reluctant Dreamers is a delicately crafted glimpse into the aftermath of Angolan independence, a postcard sent to prod the illusion of peace and freedom.

Cross J.M. Coetzee with Gabriel García Márquez and you've got José Eduardo Agualusa, Portugal's next candidate for the Nobel Prize.

Alan Kaufman, author of Matches


Without doubt one of the most important Portuguese-language writers of his generation.

António Lobo Antunes


Praise for A General Theory of Oblivion


Agualusa's novel is a powerful examination of personal recollection and public upheaval, and a penetrating study of isolation and the cost of freedom.

Malcolm Forbes, The National


Hahn is one of our most experienced translators. Such experience shows in tiny interventions to guide the English reader through the chaos of the Angolan battlefield ... and in his taking confident ownership of certain descriptive passages, ensuring the music of the original is conveyed along with the meaning... a timely homage to the prize of Angolan independence.

The Independent


In collaboration with PEN Transmissions, Granta invites Daniel Hahn to directly respond to an essay he’s translated: “Connecting Worlds, Inventing Worlds” by Agualusa.