A police inspector is investigating a strange murder, a case in which all the suspects are eager to claim responsibility for the act.
Set in a former Portuguese fort, which stored slaves and ivory, “Under the Frangipani” combines fable and allegory, dreams and myths with earthy humor. The dead meet the living, language is invented, and reality is constantly changing.
Part thriller, part exploration of language, Couto surprises and delights, and shows why he is one of the most important African writers of today.
His works in Portuguese have been published in more than 22 countries and have been widely translated.
He won the 2014 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 2013 Camoes Prize for Literature, one of the most prestigious international awards honoring the work of Portuguese language writers.
An international jury at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair called his first novel, “Terra Sonambula” (“Sleepwalking Land”), “one of the best 12 African books of the 20th century.”
In April 2007, he became the first African author to win the prestigious Latin Union Award of Romanic Languages, which has been awarded annually in Italy since 1990.
Stylistically, his writing is heavily influenced by magical realism, a style popular in modern Latin American literature, and his use of language is inventive and reminiscent of Guimaraes Rosa.