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Original Essays | June 20, 2014

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The Return of the Water Spirit


The Return of the Water Spirit Cover


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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Set in Angola in the late 1980's, a time of war, and when the Marxist-orientated ruling elite became engulfed by corruption, nepotism and rampant capitalism.

Three centuries earlier, a hideous crime occurred, the beheading of a slave who had had inappropriate relations with his Master's daughter. Now, in the very same Kinaxixi Square in the city of Luanda buildings are falling down one by one baffling the country's engineers. Many describe this mysterious process as 'Luanda Syndrome, God's punishment on a degenerate society.

Drawing on the essence of African mythology which had all but been obliterated by history, could this be explained by the return of a Water Spirit (the 'kianda')?

The novel focuses on the interplay between these two forces-the forces of old and new. Just like faith can move mountains, the spirit of the water can move cities.

This book is a scathing critique of Angola's ruling elite, for abandoning their socialist principles in favour of rampant capitalism.


In this book Pepetela offers a scathing critique of the modern-day Angolan elite for squandering the sacrifices of the past.

About the Author

Pepetela is the nom de plume and nom de guerre of Artur Carlos Mauricio Pestana. Born in Benguela in 1941, he went to Portugal in 1958 to study engineering. Four years later he went to France and then to Algeria, where he studied sociology and was involved in founding the Centre of Angolan Studies.In the late 1960s he was sent to the Cabinda front and took part in the guerrilla war against the colonial army. He was a member of the first MPLA delegation to fly into Angola at the end of the war for independence.Among other responsibilities, Pepetela has been Deputy Minister of Education and a leading member of the Angolan Writers' Union.Pepetela is the author of many novels including Yaka (1984), which won Angola's National Literature Prize in 1986. The novels Yaka and Mayombe (1980) are also published in Heinemann's African Writers Series. O Desejo de Kianda (The Return of the Water Spirit) was first published in 1995.In 1997 Pepetela was awarded the Camoes Prize, which is the most

Product Details

Pepetela, Angola
Mitras, Luis R.
African Writers Series
Publication Date:
7.74x5.18x.32 in. .18 lbs.

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The Return of the Water Spirit New Mass Market
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Product details 102 pages Heinemann - English 9780435912109 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In this book Pepetela offers a scathing critique of the modern-day Angolan elite for squandering the sacrifices of the past.
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