TRANSPARENT CITY, translated from the Portuguese by Stephen Henighan

: Ondjaki

R 385.00
- +

343pp., paperback, Reprint, London, 2021


First published in 2012 as Os Ttansparentes. Winner of the 2013 José Saramago Literary Prize, as well as the 2015 Prix Transfuge for Best African Novel and a 2016 Prix Littérature-Monde from the St. Malo World Literature Festival.

First published in English in 2018.

Novel set in a crumbling apartment block in Luanda, Angola. As Odonato loses hope of finding his lost son in a city changing beyond recognition, his flesh becomes transparent and his body increasingly weightless.

"Ondjaki is experimentally bold, and his prose shifts through a kaledioscope of registers, from the poetic to the political, the erotic to the absurd ... Stephen Henighan's thoughtful translation has an energetic lyricism and is alive to the echoes and vestiges of the African languages that imbue Ondjaki's text ... The novel begins and ends with a raging inferno, and yet it is as full of hope, appetite and libidinal energy as it is of grief and mourning." Times Literary Supplement

"These disparate stories are woven into a beautiful narrative that touches on government corruption, the privatization of water, the dangers of extracting oil for wealth, and the bastardization of religion for profit. The novel reads like a love song to a tortured, desperately messed-up city that is undergoing remarkable transformations." Publishers Weekly

Ondjaki was born in Luanda in 1977. He has written novels, short-stories, poetry, children's books and film scripts. In 2008 he was awarded the Grinzane for Africa Prize in the category of Best Young Writer. In 2012 The Guardian named him one of its “Top Five African Writers.”