The Society of Reluctant Dreamers
by Jose Eduardo Agualusa
Pub Date 24 Mar 2020
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In The Society of Reluctant Dreamers, Daniel dreams of Julio Cortázar in the form of an ancient giant cedar, his friend Hossi transforming into a dark crow, and most often of the Cotton-Candy-Hair-Woman, Moira, staring right back at him. After emails back-and-forth, Moira and Daniel meet, and Daniel becomes involved in a mysterious project with a Brazilian neuroscientist, who's creating a machine to photograph people's dreams. Set against the dense web of Angola's political history, Daniel crosses the hazy border between dream and reality, sleepwalking towards a twisted and entirely strange present.
Winner of the 2019 Angolan National Prize for Culture and Arts • "Cross J.M. Coetzee with Gabriel García Márquez and you've got José Eduardo Agualusa, Portugal's next candidate for the Nobel Prize." - Alan Kaufman, author of Matches • "Without doubt one of the most important Portuguese-language writers of his generation." - António Lobo Antunes Praise for A General Theory of Oblivion: • "Hahn is one of our most experienced translators. Such experience shows in tiny interventions to guide the English reader through the chaos of the Angolan battlefield ... and in his taking confident ownership of certain descriptive passages, ensuring the music of the original is conveyed along with the meaning... a timely homage to the prize of Angolan independence." -- The Independent • "Agualusa's novel is a powerful examination of personal recollection and public upheaval, and a penetrating study of isolation and the cost of freedom." -- Malcolm Forbes, The National • "Like Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa and Argentine Jorge Luis Borges, Portuguese-Angolan writer José Eduardo Agualusa is a literary trickster who dazzles with his artificial fictional creations.... Agualusa is a master of varied genre structure, and he has great fun shifting from spy novel to pastoral narrative to interior reflection, but his heart is deeply invested in his characters, and each individual's story burns itself into the reader to make us reconsider our capacity for empathy and understanding.... Profoundly satisfying." -- David Wiley, Minneapolis Star Tribune for A General Theory of Oblivion • "Agualusa's writing is a delight throughout, as he opens up the world of Portuguese-speaking Africa to the English-speaking community - and what a world it is." -- The Scotsman • "'A man with a good story is practically a king.' If this is true, then Agualusa can count himself among the continent's new royals." -- Angel Gurría-Quintana, The Financial Times • "A master storyteller...It's a tribute to Agualusa's storytelling that the bittersweet redemption found by his characters feels authentic; he and they have earned it." -- Washington Independent Review of Books * * * *