‘Ondjaki is experimentally bold, and his prose shifts through a kaleidoscope of registers, from the poetic to the political, the erotic to the absurd.’ – TLS
In a crumbling apartment block in the Angolan city of Luanda, families work, laugh, scheme, and get by. In the middle of it all is the melancholic Odonato, nostalgic for the country of his youth and searching for his lost son. As his hope drains away and the city outside his doors changes beyond all recognition, Odonato’s flesh becomes transparent and his body increasingly weightless.
Alongside, disparate stories are woven into the narrative, spanning from the tragic to the comic, from the surreal to the every-day, culminating into a depiction of near-future Luanda. A captivating blend of magical realism, scathing political satire, tender comedy, and literary experimentation, Transparent City offers a gripping and joyful portrait of urban Africa quite unlike any before yet published in English, and places Ondjaki among the continent’s most accomplished writers.
Review: \”A moving mural of lives in the underclass of his home city, Luanda. […] One of Angola’s most prominent authors, Ondjaki is attracting growing acclaim overseas.\” * The Guardian *
\”Ondjaki imagines an apocalyptic future caused by rampant corruption, and Transparent City opens and closes with Luanda engulfed in flames. Stephen Henighan’s translation from the Portuguese is no mean feat. Overlapping prose and loose punctuation give a vivid sense of humanity in constant motion, while elements of the surreal are interwoven through the narrative. It’s an audacious, highly original novel; a challenging, but rewarding read.\” * The Financial Times *
\”Ondjaki is experimentally bold, and his prose shifts through a kaleidoscope of registers, from the poetic to the political, the erotic to the absurd.\” * Times Literary Supplement *
\”Ondjaki’s prose pulses with life… shine[s] with an unexpected clarity.\” * World Literature Today *
\”A blend of stylized surrealism and harrowing realism.\” * LitHub *
Imprint: Europa Edns (US)
Publication date: 18/01/2022