In his novel, Rainy Season, Agualusa returns to the present again. What at first seems like the fictive biography of the Angolan poetess and historian Lidia do Carmo Ferreira, gradually turns out to be a depiction of the devastating history of a country tormented by thirty years of war.
A journalist – the autobiographical features are quite deliberate – is trying to find out what happened to Lidia, who disappeared in Luanda in 1992, a point in time when the civil war flared up again with unprecedented ferocity after rebel leader Jonas Savimbi and his UNITA movement refused to accept defeat in the country’s first free and democratic elections. The story, a tangled mesh of facts and fiction, tells of the disappointment of the two protagonists, which represents the disappointment of a whole nation.
Jose Eduardo Agualusa was born in Huambo, Angola, in 1960. He has published seven novels, including Creole, which was awarded the Portuguese Grand Prize for Literature and is a bestseller in seven countries. Agualusa won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2007 for the English translation of his novel The Book of Chameleons, translated by Daniel Hahn. He is the first African writer to win the award since its inception in 1990.