We are delighted to announce that José Eduardo Agualusa has won the 2021 Portuguese PEN Prize for his novel, Os Vivos e os Outros (The Living and the Rest)! Archipelago is slated to publish the English translation of The Living and the Rest in the coming years.
Agualusa is an Angolan journalist and author of Portuguese and Brazilian descent who writes primarily in his native Portuguese. His books have been translated into over 30 languages. Archipelago has had the privilege of publishing two of Agualusa’s books, A General Theory of Oblivion (2015) and The Society of Reluctant Dreamers (2020), both of which were masterfully translated into English by Daniel Hahn.
Agualusa’s 1997 novel, Creole was awarded the Portuguese Grand Prize for Literature, and he received the U.K.’s Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for The Book of Chameleons in 2007. A General Theory of Oblivion was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize and later won the 2017 Dublin Literary Award. In 2019, Agualusa received Angola’s most prestigious literary prize, the National Prize for Culture and Arts.
Malcolm Forbes calls A General Theory of Oblivion “a powerful examination of personal recollection and public upheaval, and a penetrating study of isolation and the cost of freedom.”
Of The Society of Reluctant Dreamers, Publishers Weekly writes, “False memories and clairvoyant dreams combine in Agualusa’s sweeping, intricately plotted tale of personal and political history in Angola . . . While the dense and tangled story, rife with diary entries, recounted personal histories, and thinly drawn tertiary characters, is almost too short for its own good, Agualusa manages to pull off a deeply satisfying ending . . . (a) populous, multilayered commentary on the fogs of love and war.”
This week, Bomb Magazine published an interview of José Eduardo Agualusa by Bibi Deitz. They talk about Agualusa’s novel, The Society of Reluctant Dreamers, and how dreams, social movements, and photography all affect his writing. As Deitz notes in her introduction to the interview: “To read José Eduardo Agualusa is less like being transported to another world and more like getting thrown into the very real world in which we live: The colors are brighter, the sun beats a bit hotter, and people let their dreams affect them more acutely.”
You can read the interview on Bomb’s website, here.
José Eduardo Agualusa was born in Huambo, Angola in 1960. He studied agronomy and forestry in Lisbon before he began his work as a writer. His novel Creole was awarded the Portuguese Grand Prize for Literature, and he received the U.K.’s Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for The Book of Chameleons in 2007. He and his translator, Daniel Hahn, won the 2017 Dublin Literary Award for A General Theory of Oblivion and in 2019, he won Angola’s most prestigious literary prize, the National Prize for Culture and Arts.
Bibi Deitz lives and writes in Brooklyn, and recently finished her first novel; more at bibideitz.com.
Translators Aloud, a new YouTube channel created by translators Charlotte Coombe and Tina Kover, brings translators out from behind the curtain with videos featuring translators reading short excerpts from their work. Below, watch and hear Daniel Hahn, translator of José Eduardo Agualusa’s The Society of Reluctant Dreamers, read from his translation of Julián Fuks’ Resistance.
Daniel Hahn, who translated José Eduardo Agualusa’s The Society of Reluctant Dreamers from the original Portuguese, was interviewed via videoconference by Justin Souther, Malaprop’s Senior Buyer and Bookstore Manager in late April. Hahn has written numerous books of nonfiction and has translated the works of Juan Pablo Villalobos, Fernando Vilela, Julián Fuks, and Carola Saavedra, among others. You can watch Daniel and Justin’s conversation below.