Mia Couto

A writer, biologist, journalist, and poet, he is one of the outstanding figures of Portuguese literature with hypnotic stories that recover Mozambican myths.

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Mia Couto is one of the leading figures in the Portuguese language literary scene with work that is internationally acclaimed with such awards as the 2014 Neistadt International Prize for Literature and the 2013 Camões Prize. His novels have been published in more than twenty countries. Notable among them are Confession of the Lioness (in Catalan, La confessió de la lleona, 2016) and Sleepwalking Land (in Catalan, Terra somnàmbula (2018), which were published by Periscopi in Catalan and Alfaguara in Spanish. His work, within the bounds of magic realism, achieves no less than bringing to life Mozambican myths and imaginaries while erasing the frontiers between the imaginary and the real. His novels are also characterised by his introduction of Mozambican vocabularies and regional structures into Portuguese, by which means he combines refrains, legends, metaphors, and riddles, endowing his work with a remarkable poetic dimension that is at once hybrid and unique. In 2015 he founded the Fernando Leite Couto Foundation, a space for creating and promoting writing among young people in the capital of Mozambique, Maputo. Besides being a writer, Couto is a biologist and, throughout his career, has taken part in projects of environmental consultation and international conferences promoting policies of sustainability in Africa.