Ondjaki is the most prominent African writer of Portuguese from the generations born after Portugal’s five former colonies on the continent achieved independence in 1975. His most recent novel, Transparent People, is a sometimes comic, often wrenching, depiction of the city of Luanda, Angola. Now in its seventh printing in Portugal, Transparent People was awarded the 2013 José Saramago Prize, and, in French translation, the 2015 Prix Transfuge du Meilleur Roman Africain, as well as a Prix Littérature-Monde at the 2016 St. Malo literary festival. In addition to French, Transparent People has been translated into Spanish and German and is forthcoming in English from Biblioasis. This interview was conducted by email in late 2016.
— S. H.