A Varanda do Frangipani by Mia Couto, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. Romance/A varanda do frangipani(Mia couto). 1 like. Book. Mia Couto a Varanda Do Frangipani. 5 likes. Book.

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Interspersed in the narrative are chapters that unravel the tales of the confessors, residents of the sanotarium who all baranda that they killed Excellency Vatsome: To begin with, before his arrival a most unhappy ghostly soul buried near the fort’s frangipani tree is set to inhabit with the assistance of a wise anteater Naita’s body and share his adventure. At another level, it is about a spirit that was not properly laid frangioani rest under the Frangipani tree.

Possibly, however, because this is a translation, the voices of the characters sound fgangipani alike and undifferentiated. They all readily confess to the A good dose of magic realism African style, set in post colonial Mozambique. This very African magic realist novel reminds me most of Pedro Paramo.

Not only the whole story, but every sentence of this original micro-novel is a fable. Lurking everywhere in Under the Frangipani are the shadows of franngipani Mozambique war of national liberation against Portuguese repression and its traumatic realities. This colonial fort turned jail for Mozambique revolutionaries turned sanotarium for the elderly after the war and of which Vatsome is director is the setting of the novel. Finally, it is about a transition from Portuguese colony to supposed independence of Mozambique.

Couto plays varansa the detective story vsranda in this book, stretching it and distorting it. The war killed Vatsome… War creates another cycle of time. It has a similar smell with jasmine but it has a more intense fragrance. A man-child cursed to grow old at the moment he was born, a witch that turns into water, a young nurse that sleeps stark naked in order to absorb the smell and the energy of the earth and many more.


Vatsome fought against the white Portuguese colonists, but he is corrupted by the war. It was not a page turner, but it was a mind turner — worth frangipanj read. Set in an old Portuguese fort in post-independence Mozambique the tale is part murder investigation, part allegory that is rooted in magical realism. If I had a cross or a slab of marble, the name Ermelindo Mucanga would feature on it. It turns out he is not really from Portugal, but from Mozambique, but he wrote in Portuguese and translated by David Brookshaw.

A Varanda do Frangipani

Meanwhile, the small and barely still alive population of the site with names like Little Miss No and the Old Varands await the policeman so that they can regale him with magical tales and fill their confessions with all the spirits and incredible happenings of their unseen world.

The fort is the locus of the long troubled history of Mozambique, a site that held slaves, was used in the war for independence, and is a microcosm of post-independence society.

Nevertheless Under the Frangipani is impressive. From the first sentence of the book you are taken by surprise: A Varanda do Frangipani by Mia Couto.

Then there is who or what is murdered? Open Preview See a Problem? But I passed away along with my name nearly two decades ago. How to write a great review. To ask other readers questions about A Varanda do Frangipaniplease sign up.


I just don’t really know what was going on. As has been noted so many times on this blog, magic realism often comes from two cultures rubbing up against each other. So you drangipani this is not just magical animist realism but also something more, magical, and also political. All in all, the writing and structure have a kind of delicacy that was easy to like.

A Varanda do Frangipani by Mia Couto

Set in an old Portuguese fort in post-independence Mozambique the tale is part murder investigation, part allegory that is rooted in magical realism. The political is more subtle, it is somehow a protest against Portuguese colonialism in Mozambique.

And now for something completely different Or by harvests, famine or floods. Can these seemingly fanciful accounts provide any answers or are they merely the ravings of those suffering from senile dementia? Couto plays with the detective story genre in this book, stretching it and distorting it. I do think there’s real depth there, but I’m not completely sure that I even made it far below the surface. In the words of Mark Twain’s memorable Luigi Capello, “he needs killing.

Open Preview See a Problem? Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. His investigations seem to lead him nowhere.