Mozambican Mia Couto is announced the 2014 Neustadt International Prize for Literature laureate after having won the 2013 Camões Prize for Literature earlier this year.
The prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature is often referred to as the American Nobel Prize firstly because like the Nobel prize it is not awarded for any one work but a body of works in literature and then impressively because some 30 Neustadt laureates, candidates, or jurors have been awarded the Nobel prize according to wikipedia.
Mia Couto’s novels have been widely translated and are available in both the original Portuguese and English translation to read have a look at his books on GoodReads
“Mia Couto is considered to be one of the most important writers in Mozambique, and his works have been published in more than 20 languages.
Born in 1955 in Beira, Mozambique, Couto began his literary career in the struggle for Mozambique’s independence, during which time he edited two journals. Raiz de Orvalho, Couto’s first book of poetry, was published in 1983. His first novel and the novel that was the representative text for the Neustadt, Sleepwalking Land, was published in 1992 to great acclaim and is widely considered one of the best African books of the 20th century.
Couto is known for his use of magical realism as well as his creativity with language. In her nominating statement, Ghermandi wrote, “Some critics have called Mia Couto ‘the smuggler writer,’ a sort of Robin Hood of words who steals meanings to make them available in every tongue, forcing apparently separate worlds to communicate. Within his novels, each line is like a small poem.”