The Angolan writer Pepetela presents today, at the Festival Escritaria de Penafiel, his latest novel, ‘His Excellency, Present Body’, a work that falls, according to the author, in a new cycle that is opening in Africa.
On Wednesday, when he was received in Penafiel at the Festival de Escritaria for a tribute that continues until Sunday, the writer said that the narrative of ‘His Excellency, Corpo Presente’ does not ‘deal only with Angola. ”
“It really is a story that can happen in any African country, south of the Sahara,” he stressed, recalling that there is a phase “that comes after that cycle that has disappeared, a single party and very authoritarian bosses “he said.
This work, as the writer also admitted in Obidos last Saturday, may be his last book on the Angolan historical reality.
The narrative addresses the troubled past decades of an African country, remembered by its deceased president, lying in a white satin-lined coffin, in a huge hall full of flowers, and although dead, sees, hears and thinks.
“This book is capable of being the last one [on the contemporary history of Angola], because it is very difficult to manage post-writing,” he said at the Folio – International Literary Festival in Óbidos, which ends on Sunday.
Pepetela, who was born 76 years ago in Benguela, southwest Angola, added that he was “the most difficult of all to write” and took “six years” to do so.
In Penafiel, he added that health reasons forced him to write the book standing up, which became very tiring and, he admitted, eventually accelerated the need to finish the work.
The presentation of the book in the Office, by José Carlos Seabra Pereira, is scheduled for 21:45, in the large auditorium of the Municipal Museum of Penafiel, preceded by the dramatization of one of Pepetela’s short stories.
On Saturday, at 16:15, the author attends a conference about his life and his work, to which Innocence Mata, Ondjaki and José Carlos Vasconcelos were invited.
On that day, but at 9:45 pm, the honoree is interviewed, live, by Maria João Avillez.
On Sunday, at 17:15, at the Book Fair of the Office, which takes place in Largo Padre Américo, Pepetela gives a session of autographs, which will close this edition of the literary festival.
In the ten previous editions, the Festival Escritaria honored Urbano Tavares Rodrigues, José Saramago, Agustina Bessa-Luís, Mia Couto, António Lobo Antunes, Mário de Carvalho, Lídia Jorge, Mário Cláudio, Alice Vieira and Miguel Sousa Tavares.
The Office is the only literary festival that honors, in each edition, a live Portuguese-speaking writer.