Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Shepherding Sadness: Mia Couto in The Millions

"The Mozambican writer Mia Couto has been having a great year," wrote novelist Philip Graham for The Millions this morning. "Last week, he was nominated for the 23rd Biennial Neustadt International Prize for literature, his fellow nominees including César Aira, Edward P. Jones, and Haruki Murakami. And a mere six weeks before that, Couto won a major international literary award: the Camôes Prize for Literature."

Graham, author of The Moon, Come to Earth and Braided Worlds, then asks the hundred-thousand-euro-question: "Why all this recent success for a writer that you’ve probably never heard of?" Happily the answer isn't complicated: "Couto," he says, "is a master at inverting reality, reversing the order of the world with a swift aphoristic grace that leaves us puzzling over our normal assumptions....long regarded as one of the leading writers in Mozambique, [he] has now been recognized as one of the greatest living writers in the Portuguese language." And  The Tuner of Silences, which as you all know we published in February of this year, "cracks open a welcoming window onto a vast world of literary pleasures that has for too long remained under the radar in the English-speaking world."

Gosh & golly. Happy Wednesday, everybody!

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