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A Severed Penis

Elizabeth Lowry: Magic realism in Mozambique

3 February 2005
The Last Flight of the Flamingo 
by Mia Couto, translated by David Brookshaw.
Serpent’s Tail, 179 pp., £9.99, March 2004, 1 85242 813 9
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... doubts are ‘voxpopulated’, orders ‘spontaneified’, someone arrives ‘envehicled’. David Brookshaw’s dexterity achieves a seemingly effortless fit with Couto’s idiosyncrasies. A virginal heiress, Temporina, ‘hadn’t been legged over, but at least she was worth a legacy’; the ex-Marxist Jonas calls his black market deals ‘my ...

Didn’t we agree to share?

Sheila Heti: ‘The First Wife’

12 July 2017
The First Wife 
by Paulina Chiziane, translated by David Brookshaw.
Archipelago, 250 pp., £14.99, August 2016, 978 0 914671 48 0
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... In​ 1990, when she was 35 years old, Paulina Chiziane became the first woman in Mozambique to publish a novel. She has since published six more books, writing in Portuguese, and is one of Mozambique’s most culturally significant writers. In interviews, Chiziane has explained that she has received a lot of criticism for her books from people who think that the women’s lives she depicts aren’t deserving of attention; that the subject matter of a number of her books – women in love, as it were – is decadent, in a country where there is so much development work to be done ...

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