Angolan Portuguese author Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida signed a two-book deal with Farrar, Straus and will be publishing a triptych of novellas titled Zion, as well as the English translation of her novel Luanda, Lisboa, Paradise.
According to Publisher’s Marketplace, Zion “wrestle[s] with the weight of memory, the legacy of slavery and colonialism, and the spoils of the Portuguese empire.” Meanwhile, Luanda, Lisboa, Paradise is a “migration story that offers a vivid portrait of the Angolan community in Portugal.”
Originally published in Portuguese in 2018, Luanda, Lisboa, Paraíso was awarded the Inês de Castro Foundation Literary Award in 2018, the Eça de Queiroz Foundation Literary Prize in 2019, and the Oceanos Prize in 2019.
Read the English translation of the publisher’s synopsis of Luanda, Lisboa, Paraíso below:
In her second novel, Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida narrates the saga of Cartola and Aquiles, father and son who leave Angola in search of medical treatment in Portugal in the 1980s. A book about decolonization and belonging, by the same author of Esse Cabelo.
Luanda, Angola, 1970s. Result of a birth with serious complications, Aquiles is born with a malformation that dictates his destiny and name. The promise of a cure resides in a surgery that can only be performed in Portugal, and until he turns fifteen. With the fateful birthday in sight, Aquiles and his father, Cartola, leave for Lisbon, believing that it will be a temporary trip and that they will be received as true Portuguese citizens. In the capital, they feel the prejudice of being immigrants from the former colony, while their return to Angola becomes increasingly distant.
Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida was born in Luanda, Angola, but grew up near Lisbon. She has a PhD in Literary Theory from the University of Lisbon and has published 5 books. Esse Cabelo, translated in 2020 asThat Hair by Eric M. B. Becker, was featured on Brittle Paper‘s notable books of the year list.
Congrats to de Almeida!