Shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize
A Portuguese woman shuts herself away after the Angolan War of Independence in this stunning novel from a master storyteller whose writing evokes Gabriel García Márquez and J.M. Coetzee.
On the eve of Angolan independence, an agoraphobic woman named Ludo bricks herself into her Luandan apartment for 30 years, living off vegetables and the pigeons she lures in with diamonds, burning her furniture and books to stay alive, and writing her story on the apartment's walls. As the country goes through various political upheavals—from colony to socialist republic to civil war to peace and capitalism—the world outside seeps into Ludo’s life through snippets on the radio, voices from next door, glimpses of someone peeing on a balcony, or a man fleeing his pursuers.
Almost as if we're eavesdropping, the history of Angola unfolds through the stories of those she sees from her window . . . A General Theory of Oblivion is a perfectly crafted, wild patchwork of a novel, playing on a love of storytelling and fable.