Commission of Tears (häftad)
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Häftad (Paperback / softback)
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Dalkey Archive Press
Elizabeth Lowe
Illustrations, unspecified
201 x 130 x 23 mm
409 g
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Commission of Tears

Häftad,  Engelska, 2024-09-12
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Antnio Lobo Antuness twenty-fifth novel, Commission of Tears (2011, Comisso das Lgrimas) is set during the Angolan Civil War (1975-2002). Angola attained official independence on November 11, 1975 and, while the stage was set for transition, a combination of ethnic tensions and international pressures rendered Angolas hard-won victory problematic. As with many post-colonial states, Angola was left with both economic and social difficulties which translated into a power struggle between the three predominant liberation movements. The Peoples Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), formed in December of 1956 as an offshoot of the Angolan Communist Party, had as its support base the Ambundu people and was largely supported by other African countries, Cuba, and the Soviet Union. In this novel, Lobo Antunes delves into this traumatic period of Angola's history through the fragmented memories and dreams of a broken woman. The author drew from the story of the commander of the female battalion MPLA (Popular movement for the liberation of Angola) who was tortured and killed following the state coup of May 1977. It is said that while they tortured her she did not stop singing. This is the story of Cristina, admitted in to a psychiatric clinic in Lisbon. In her torrent of memories, dialogues and traumatic episodes, Cristina remembers her early childhood in Africa, at the time when everything inside her head was intertwined with her fathers voice, who was a former Black priest and became one of the torturers of the Commission of Tears. Cristinas white mother, a cabaret dancer imported from Lisbon to entertain Portuguese farmers in Angola, marries the Black ex-priest because she finds herself pregnant with Cristina by her the man who exploits her, the cabaret manager. The long, twisting narrative weaves together the three voices of daughter, father, and mother as they recall the terrors of their life in Angola, and their own suffering. Their personal tragedies, scarred by racism and abuse, mirror those of the country that is being torn asunder around them.
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Antonio Lobo Antunes was born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1942. He began writing as a child, but at his father's wishes, went to medical school instead of pursuing a career in writing. After completing his studies, Antunes was sent to Angola with the Portuguese Army. It was in a military hospital in Angola that Antunes first became interested in many of the subjects of his novels. Antunes lives in Lisbon, where he continues to write and practice psychiatry.