Until Stones Become Lighter Than Water, by António Lobo Antunes, Translated by Jeff Love
A novel about the horrors of war and its aftermath from one of Europe’s most brilliant authors
António Lobo Antunes returns to the subject of the Portuguese colonial war in Angola with a vigorous account of atrocity and vengeance.
Drawing on his own bitter experience as a soldier stationed for twenty‑seven months in Angola, Lobo Antunes tells the story of a young African boy who is brought to Portugal by one of the soldiers who destroyed the child’s village, and of the boy’s subsequent brutal murder of this adoptive father figure at a ritual pig killing.
Deftly framing the events through an assembly of interwoven narratives and perspectives, this is one of Lobo Antunes’s most captivating and experimental books. It is also a timely consideration of the lingering wounds that remain from the conflict between European expansionism and its colonized victims who were forced to accept the norms of a supposedly superior culture.