A general theory of oblivion

2 07 2017


A General Theory of Oblivion by Portuguese-Angolan author Jose Eduardo Agualusa is a work of fiction based on a startling true story. In the tense last days of Portuguese colonial rule in Angola, an expat colonial woman finds herself unexpectedly alone in the increasingly hostile environment, and in panic and desperation, walls herself up inside her high-rise apartment…not to set foot outside for another thirty years. Through the windows she can look down on the city below, hear the gunshots and see the demonstrations, watching as the once-grand colonial apartment block all but collapses around her. She withdraws into herself, hermit-like, her days an endless stream of sunny, silent days in her penthouse, looking out over the trees and the bouganvillea flowers.

It is  fascinating premise and reading the book, so evocative of the heat and the clamour of Luanda, in the baking Hong Kong Summer is an experience in itself.




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