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The Living and the Rest

On sale

31st August 2023

Price: £12.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781529421750

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“The limitless possibilities of fiction are brilliantly utilised . . . Ingenious” Irish Times

“Agualusa’s funny and lively tale turns increasingly ominous ahead of an explosive conclusion” Guardian

***A Financial Times Fiction in Translation Book of the Year 2023***

Daniel lives with artist Moira on her native Island of Mozambique. They are awaiting the birth of their child, while also organising the island’s first literary festival. But as soon as the first festival guests arrive, the coast is hit by a cyclone.

The island is spared, but the bridge to the mainland is left impassable, and telephone and internet connections are severed. The islanders – and the writers who have come for the festival – are cut off from the outside world. Left to their own devices, the authors forge new bonds and make the best of a situation that gets stranger each day. Some believe they’re in an intermediate realm, a kind of limbo, and some have no choice but to write, as the boundaries between reality and fiction, past and future, and life and death begin to blur.

Where do we go when it’s all over? Perhaps to a small island. This is a novel about the nature of life and of time, and the extraordinary power of imagination and the written word, capable of creating anything and regenerating everything.

Translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn

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Reviews

Strong Words
Perfect for those who like their beach reads served with a spritz of postmodernism.
Declan O'Driscoll, Irish Times
The limitless possibilities of fiction are brilliantly utilised in José Eduardo Agualusa's novel The Living and The Rest . . . Ingenious.
John Self, Guardian
Agualusa's funny and lively tale turns increasingly ominous ahead of an explosive conclusion. I give it four stars - and a half