Winner of the 2013 Jose Saramago Prize
An Africa39/Unesco City of LIterature 2014 African Writer Under 40
A Guardian Top Five African Writer 2012
Winner of the Grinzane Prize for Best Young Writer 2010
By the beaches of Luanda, the Soviets are building a grand mausoleum in honour of the Comrade President. Granmas are whispering: houses, they say, will be dexploded, and everyone will have to leave. With the help of his friends Charlita and Pi (whom everyone calls 3.14), and with assistance from Dr. Rafael KnockKnock, the Comrade Gas Jockey, the amorous Gudafterov, crazy Sea Foam, and a ghost, our young hero must decide exactly how much trouble he’s willing to face to keep his Granma safe in Bishop’s Beach.
Energetic and colourful, impish and playful, Granma Nineteen and the Soviet’s Secret is a charming coming-of-age story from the next rising star in African literature.
Ondjaki has published four novels, three collections of short stories, two collections of poetry, and three children’s books. His literary debut came in 2002 with the novella O Assobiador (The Whistler), which was followed up with the childhood memoir Bom dia Camaradas (Good Morning, Comrades) in 2003. Since then he has also published Transparent City (2012), Uma Escuridão Bonita (2013), Sonhos Azuis Pelas Esquinas (2014), Há Gente em Casa (2018). He has been awarded a number of important prizes, among them the prestigious Jabuti Prize. His novel Transparent City was awarded the Saramago Prize 2013, Prix Transfuge 2015, and Prix Littérature Monde 2016. He was also selected among the top 39 African writers under the age of 40 for the Africa39 anthology project and his books have been translated to French, Spanish, Italian, German, English, Chinese and Swedish.