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Autópsia de Um Mar de Ruínas

Author: João de Melo


Testimonial novel about the colonial war in Angola.

Autopsy of a Sea of Ruins, a singular novel due to the dual perspective of the colonial war that it presents us, comprises two parallel narratives: one centered on the action of the Portuguese military in northern Angola, the other on a daily life of fear and misery, on the silent and cold revolt, on the victimization of two sanzalas.

Here, then, is a novel built on two languages, two points of view, two social reasons, two stories within the contemporary history of colonialism and war – the adverse reality of two human universes in emergency situations. If the subject and the narrative alternate throughout the novel, it is however in the author’s dual language that the difference of these two worlds at war is centered, under the vertigo of evil and through the creation of distinct voices and narrators, in the glow of a literary writing in tune with the experience of the lived.

This was the world that the author knew in Angola, during more than two years of commission as a military nurse, among hundreds of men, women, and children, because of the pains of their souls, their illnesses, the evils of living and dying in an ambush, during combat, in the explosion of mines, in an accident with a firearm, or in a flogging at a distance.

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