A General Theory of Oblivion - Jose Eduardo Agualusa
If, as his book claims, “a man with a good story is practically a king,” then Agualusa is practically a king, because here’s a wonderful story, inventively told, tricky in tone, and gripping on every page. During the Angolan Civil War, a reclusive woman walls herself up inside her high-rise apartment and lives by her wits, shut away from the world for decades. You get extracts of the poetry she writes on the wall, episodes where she hunts chickens from lower-down apartment balconies, and extended glimpses into the lives of the city inhabitants she spies out in the street. By the end, every thread is connected, without any wasted ambition and with a breeziness that only enhances the narrative’s depth.