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Biblioasis Winter 2019

And Other Stories
By (author): Mia Couto Translated by: Eric M.B. Becker
Mia Couto ,

Translated by :

Eric M.B. Becker


Biblioasis - Windsor



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade
Feb 19, 2019
$18.95 CAD


7in x 5 x 0.5 in | 176 gr

Page Count:

168 pages
FICTION / Short Stories

A new translation of brilliant stories by Man Booker-finalist and author of Confession of the Lioness.

Written in the aftermath of civil war, these early stories are among Mia Couto’s freshest, most original fiction. In tales that mingle playful comedy with surprising plot twists and magical events, fishermen, fortune-tellers, widows, small-town drinkers and even an errant hippopotamus rediscover life's possibilities and the ability to dream. A new translation of brilliant stories by Man Booker-finalist and author of Confession of the Lioness.

Mia Couto was born in Beira, Mozambique, in 1955. He dropped out of medical school to join the struggle against Portuguese colonialism in his country. When Mozambique became independent in 1975, Couto was named Director of Information in the revolutionary government and served as editor of two newspapers. In the 1980s, he returned to university to study environmental biology while beginning his writing career. Couto is the author of more than 25 books of fiction, essays and poems. His novels and short story collections have been published in 20 languages; made into feature films; been bestsellers in Africa, Europe, and South America; and awarded major literary prizes in Mozambique, Portugal, Brazil, and Italy, including the 2013 Camões Prize, and the 2014 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. In 2015, he was a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize. His novel The Tuner of Silences was longlisted for the 2015 IMPAC Dublin Award, while Confession of the Lioness was shortlisted for the Award in 2017. Mia Couto lives with his family in Maputo, Mozambique, where he works as an environmental consultant and a theatre director.

  • National review copy mailing
  • Co-op available
  • Academic outreach to centers for African & Portuguese literature
    Strong focus on outlets who favorably reviewed Couto's FSG novel, in addition to our contacts in NY media, along w/ all translation outlets
  • North American TV & radio campaign: CBC Sunday Edition, Next Chapter, Writers & Co
  • National print campaign: Canadian Notes and Queries, Literary Review of Canada, Quill & Quire, The Walrus, Globe and Mail, Montreal Gazette, National Post, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, Winnipeg Free Press
  • Online and social media campaign: CBC Books, giveaways through Edelweiss, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram
  • E-book available same date as print edition, e-book ISBN included on press materials and websites and promoted via social media 

For more information contact
[email protected]


“Couto’s stories counter [the] fear of barrenness, pinpointing kernels of possibility...Becker’s intricate translation uses wonderful almost-words to recreate Couto’s illusory and playful sentences...concoctions precise enough to capture the writing’s mythical, trancelike quality.” —The New York Times Book Review

“[Couto] has been creating his own utterly original take on African life for decades now, rich and lyrical works immersed in the soil and mind-set of rural Mozambique...these literary fragments are dreamy but hopeful responses to Mozambique's violent past, magical tales that find solace in the wisdom of rivers and trees, fishermen and fortune tellers, children and blind men. An assortment of transcendent sketches, fables, and creation tales, Couto's stories are rooted yet timeless, both whimsical and deeply spiritual—essential qualities of the work of the masterful Mozambican author.” —Vanity Fair

“A charming collection...unsettling and uplifting, and filled with the wisdom of folk tales.” —Financial Times

Rain and Other Stories was first published in 1994, shortly after the 1992 peace agreement that put an end to the lengthy civil war that followed the lengthy war for independence of Mozambique. Mia Couto’s characters have endured the devastation of decades of war: blind men, children who lost their families, widows, displaced old men. They still find their way to solidarity and a quiet hope. The stories are often sad but sometimes very funny. The range of tones in the collection, together with Couto’s verbal inventiveness, poses a considerable challenge to the translator, but Eric M. B. Becker makes it look effortless, writing with low-key eloquence and matching creativity with creativity.”—Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize Jury, Modern Language Association

“Stellar...offers fable-like gems capturing lives hurt and heroic, damaging and enduring...At a low point, Blind Estrelinho "remained on the side of the road, like a balled-up handkerchief soaked with sadness," and such language stuns throughout. A woman deserted by her husband, a problem child rushing to rescue her father—these are some of Couto's poignant stories. VERDICT Highly recommended.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“Wide ranging in theme, mood, and genre...[Couto's] descriptions of landscapes and people have the power and mystery of the best style of folklore. The strength of his characters, whether he’s portraying an old math professor exploring love, a cross-dressing neighbor, or a businessman creating a happy communal space as a gift to God‚ is most apparent in how with few words their varied lives become relatable. Becker’s translation conveys Couto’s precise use of language to capture the innately elusive nature of human experience.” —Booklist

“Encompasses everything from unlikely confessionals to dreamlike forays outside of realism; it’s a concise and wide-ranging demonstration of Couto’s authorial range.” —Words Without Borders

“Stunning imagery draws power from unexpected comparisons...Playful and poignant, Rain and Other Stories cements Couto's reputation as one of the finest writers in the Portuguese language, and proves Becker's talent as a discerning and perceptive translator.” —Shelf Awareness

“Convey[s] a sense of profound loss flecked with a measure of optimism about life after the bloodshed is over. An impressionistic flash-fiction trek through the wreckage of war.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Magnificent...The wonder of the collection, indeed its grip on the reader, is that such seemingly disparate tales come together to ultimately present how the land is remade...Nearly each sentence is astonishing in this riveting, challenging collection.” —Winnipeg Free Press

“What’s most successful about this collection are the ways in which Couto repeatedly asks unanswerable questions, piquing reader curiosity... answers manifest through subtext, and the effect is both chilling and tragic. In this collection, Mia Couto, via Eric M. B. Becker’s aesthetically rich translation, packs an emotional resonance in each story—despite brevity, many only reaching five pages—that lingers with readers long after putting the book down.” —Arkansas International

“The roots and spirits of these tales seem to run deep into the very bedrock of the earth. They are uniquely Mozambican and yet timeless...[Couto] has an uncanny ability to create miniature worlds peopled with wonderful characters, images and happenings...simply enchanting.” —Joseph Schreiber, Roughghosts


“Mia Couto’s stories of civilisation and barbarity are told through a language that is precise and profound; he weaves together the living tradition of legend, poetry and song.” —International Man Booker shortlist jury citation

“On almost every page … we sense Couto’s delight in those places where language slips officialdom’s asphyxiating grasp.”The New York Times

“[Couto is] a brilliant aphorist. There are countless sentences that … have the weight and wisdom of ancient proverbs.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Even in translation, his prose is suffused with striking images.”—The Washington Post

“Couto’s narrative tone, at once deadpan and beguiling, and his virtuoso management of time place him alongside the best Latin American magic realists.” —Times Literary Supplement

“Quite unlike anything else I have read from Africa.”—Doris Lessing

"Mia Couto, long regarded as one of the leading writers in Mozambique, has now been recognized as one of the greatest living writers in the Portuguese language … [He] cracks open a welcoming window onto a vast world of literary pleasures that has for too long remained under the radar in the English-speaking world.”—Philip Graham, The Millions

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