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Biography of Mia COUTO

Mozambique > Literature : Mia COUTO

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Born on 05/07/1955 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Mia Couto born Antonio Emilio Leite Couto on July 5, 1955 in Mozambique . He is the most prominent writer in Portuguese-speaking Africa. He has been active as a journalist and during the revolutionary struggle headed the AIM news agency. At the age of 14 he had his first poems published in the newspaper »Notícias da Beira«. Three years later he began to study Medicine and then worked as a journalist. After Mozambique had achieved independence from Portugal, Couto became the director of the news agency AIM and worked as the editor in chief of the newspapers »Tiempo« and »Notícias de Maputo«. In 1985 he resigned from these posts to study biology. Today he works as an environmental biologist at Limpopo Transfrontier Park.


In civil war-ridden Mozambique, led by the communist single political party after its independence, UN Blue Helmets disappear in a mysterious way. The investigation into the background of these occurrences develops into a journey through the cultural heritage of this tattered country, in which the boundaries between dream and reality, past and present become blurred. At the awards ceremony for the Prémio Mário António, Couto showed a clear commitment to the moral responsibility of an author. »›The Last Flight of the Flamingo‹ talks about an extreme theft of hope committed by the ruthlessness of the powerful. The advance of these consumers of nations forces us, ourselves, writers, to a growing moral obligation. Against the indecency of those who enrich themselves at the expense of everything and everyone, against those who have their hands dripping with blood, against the lies and crime and fear, against all of this the words of writers should be constructed. This duty to my country and my era has guided not only this book but all my previous novels.«

In April 2007, he became the first African author to win the prestigious Latin Union Award of Romanic Languages, which has been awarded annually in Italy since 1990.

Last update : 04/18/2010

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