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The Drinker of Horizons

The Drinker of Horizons

Author(s): Mia Couto

Location(s): Mozambique

Genre(s): Fiction, Historical

Era(s): 1890s



Set against the backdrop of the war between the Kingdom of Gaza, one of the last great pre-colonial African kingdoms, and the Portuguese colonialists, a young African woman Imani and the Portuguese sergeant Germano de Melo have shared an unexpected love. While Germano is left behind in Africa, serving with the Portuguese military, Imani is enlisted to serve as interpreter to the imprisoned emperor of Gaza, Ngungunyane, on the long voyage to Lisbon. For Ngungunyane and his seven wives, it will be a journey of no return. Whereas Imani will come back only after a decade-long odyssey through the Portuguese empire at the turn of the nineteenth century. In the third novel of his acclaimed Sands of the Emperor trilogy, Couto supplies a voice to those silenced by the horrors of colonialism. As he depicts the beauty and terror of war and love, and reveals the devastation of a profoundly unequal clash of cultures, he gives a uniquely personal voice to a little-known period of history.

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