Friday, 6 April 2018

Confession of the lioness, Mia Coutho

In a small village of Kulumani people disappear. The lions that live around the village kill them and eat them. The last victim was the sister of Mariamar Mpepe. A hunter is called from the city, to kill the lions and stop the murders.

I never read a book from Mozambique, but after this book I immediately looked up more information about this country. It became independent from Portugal in 1975, and almost immediately a civil war broke out that lasted until 1992.

This war changed things and the results are still visible. The lions for example learned during the war that people were an easy source of food. Many people are traumatized by what they experienced and some of them cling to old traditions that give them some form of security in uncertain times, and others cannot get over the cruelty they witnessed or endured.

And others? Well, let's say that lions do not commit rape and do not kill for revenge. That is the work of men who use the lions as a disguise for their own actions.

The story is told by two people, Mariamar and the hunter from the city, Arcanjo Baleiro who both have their own demons from the past they have to deal with.

Antonio Emilio (Mia) Coutho was born in 1955 as the son of Portuguese colonists who moved to Mozambique in fifties. He worked as a journalist, but has also studied biology and now works at one of the national parks in Mozambique.
He is considered one of the best writers in Africa, and he has won several literary prizes for his books.

I really liked Confession of the Lioness, apart from a little bit in the ending for Arcanjo that I found too convenient. But it is well written and slowly it reveals the story, and this is very well done. And I loved getting a glimpse into a world I did not know before and I am sure to look for more books by this author.

Original Portuguese title: A Confissão da Leoa (2012)

6 comments:

  1. Many thanks for this review. The book has been translated into German as well, so I might get it some time. It sure sounds interesting!

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    Replies
    1. I thought it was very good and I liked that it was a book from a country I did not know much about.

      Kind regards,

      Delete
  2. Sounds interesting but maybe too hard to read.

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    Replies
    1. It is a good book I think, and I can assure you it does not have descriptions of violence or something like that, so it is not hard to read in that respect. Yes, terrible things happen, but it is not told in full details.

      Kind regards,

      Delete
  3. I don't think I've ever read a book set in Mozambique.

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    Replies
    1. This was also my first book from Mozambique, but I liked it very much.

      Kind regards,

      Delete

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