Podcast: Angolan author Ondjaki

Ondjaki was born in Luanda, Angola, in 1977. He has written poetry, children’s books, short stories, novels, playwrights and film scripts. He has won major literary awards and his books have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

 With a writing career spanning for two decades Ondjaki is the most prominent African writer of Portuguese from generations born after Portugal’s former colonies achieved independence in 1975.

Ondjaki’s latest book published in the UK is the award-winning Transparent City (translated by Stephen Henighan Europa editions UK 2021). Transparent City is a book set in Luanda,  through the life of the many people who inhabit a residential building Ondjaki depicts different perspectives of modern, capitalist, post-war Luanda.    

Ondjaki recently opened the bookshop Kiela Livraria in Luanda, started a publishing house, wrote and directed the film The Kitchen.  

Ondjaki photo by António Jorge Conçalves.

Sound engineer: Oscar Perez.

Podcast: Literary translator from Portuguese Eric M. B. Becker

Eric M. B. Becker is a writer, literary translator, and editor of Words without Borders. He has also published translations of numerous writers from Brazil, Portugal, and Lusophone Africa, including, MIA COUTO, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Djaimila Pereira de Almeida, Alice Sant’Anna, Fernanda Torres, and Lygia Fagundes Telles (NEA Fellowship 2019), among others. His work has appeared in the New York TimesForeign AffairsThe Literary HubFreeman’s, and Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, among other publications. He has served on the juries of the ALTA National Translation Award and the PEN Translation Prize, and he is a member of the board of artist brand management consultancy CargoCulture.

Mentioned in this episode:

Clockwise from top left: That Hair by Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida translated by Erick M. B. Becker, Rain & other stories by Mia Couto translated by Erick M. B. Becker, São Bernardo by Graciliano Ramos, speak low by Alice Sant’Anna translated by Erick M. B. Becker.

Sound engineer: Oscar Perez.