In this collection of eighteen humorous absurdist stories, Melo weaves together postmodernism, postcolonial realities and Angolan history, through an intrusive narrator and author. Angola is Wherever I plant My field will make the readers laugh as they reflect on life and society through stories set in Luanda, Haifa, America, and North-Korea.
“Melo’s prose reveals to us a master of postmodern techniques of pastiche, interrupted narration, multiple or open endings and the explicit intervention of the narrator (and sometimes even the author) within the narrative plot.”
~Marco Bucaoini, Italian translator and editor
“Melo’s stories bring to mind the work of Borges and Ishiguro and some ineffable otherness that is his alone. Discovering his work could be the highlight of a literary career.”
~ Elizabeth McKenzie, Catamaran Literary Reader and Chicago Quarterly Review´s editor
“Angola is Wherever I Plant My Field is an intelligent, sometimes belligerent, collection of absurdist stories that address issues like colonialism, poverty, and race relations in Angola. Darkly funny, this collection of stories is a highly literary (perhaps even meta-literary) book not to be missed.”
“ANGOLA IS WHEREVER I PLANT MY FIELD is a book that balances lightness, humor and postcolonial realities with moments of darkness and postmodernism, this is delightfully odd and beautifully written. This book hooked me from the very first page, Melo's prose is original, clever and stunningly captivating.”
“Melo's compelling prose is very attractive and spectacular, the open endings will leave you with mouth open and shivers all over your skin, an admirably innovative collection of short stories that I highly recommend you to read, João is hands down my newest favourite Writer, if you are a fan of Franz Kafka, Kazuo Ishiguro or Borges then I truly recommend you to grab a copy of ANGOLA IS WHEREVER I PLANT MY FIELD!!!”
"For those of you who teach literature or modern African history, teach this! If you don’t, read it anyway. You’ll think, you might chuckle, and you will definitely learn something. Parabéns, João!"
“The stories that drew me in were short and snappy, using humour, absurdity, exaggeration, wit, satirical leanings, and the existence of the truth mixed in to depict the complexity of Angolan society, history, and their present…these observations and conversations by our omniscient narrator reflects a knowledge that come from experience, from one who knows and understands the imprint of colonialism, the fight for independence, the political and ideological segregation, and the civil war that still resonates within the very fabric of the nation. Melo's collection has some gems that used satire, wit, and a dark, dry humour that really made the issues they tackled less traumatic.”
“I was taken by the title of this book, "Angola is Wherever I Plant My Field," and it kind of reminded me of the feeling of staying true to your roots… there are eighteen (18) stories to take you on a trip full of laughter, moments of reflection and most of all, keep you entertained…The writing style is something that also caught my attention, it reminded me of the kind of stories you could be told whilst in the company of a long lost friend, there's accounts of experiences here and there-some you laugh at, others you sigh, others you just nod and look away afraid that whatever you say would not do it justice. All in all, it was a pleasure reading this book. ”
~Dora Archie Okeyo
This bold novel tells an important story about our times – the quest for power, the fears that trigger it, the hypocrisy that sustains it – and how religion can be weaponized to shroud it all in a mystery.
Members of the Institute for the Archeology of Human Thought unearth the bones of Gara, a young man, whose Myelin will unravel the secrets of his ancient consciousness.
From short stories about the dark and the light, and how we loved then and now, to poems en route the world gathering notes of those in search of beginnings and those at their ends.