a general theory of oblivion - agualusa“Our capital is full of mysteries. I’ve seen things in this city that would be too much even in a dream.”

Luanda – one of the most expensive cities in the world for foreigners, but where half of the population lives in poverty – sounds crazy. A General Theory of Oblivion seems to try and capture this madness. Its beautifully crafted vignettes tell the intertwining stories of a journalist who specialises in “disappearances of the air”, a former state intelligence agent who just wants to read, a political prisoner turned wealthy businessman, a customs officer who breeds carrier pigeons…the list goes on. At the centre of it all is Ludo, a Portuguese woman who builds a wall outside her apartment door and does her best not to watch or remember – who seeks oblivion – as a newly independent Angola takes shape around her. All the better for being not quite what I expected.

Set in Luanda, Angola.

Translated by @danielhahn02 (for more of him, see here).

Recommended by @lewisalloyd.

Buy the book here.