Teoria Geral do Esquecimento by José Eduardo Agualusa
May 26, 2019
Angola! On the eve of the Angolan revolution, Ludo builds a wall (like, a literal brick wall in front of her apartment) and shuts herself off from the rest of the world. For the next thirty years, she lives alone with her dog inside her apartment with no human contact.
Teoria Geral do Esquecimento (available in German and English translation, at least) is an incredibly beautiful and well-written book that had me hooked from the first chapter to the last.
While Ludo is the protagonist of the book and the fixed point around which all other stories in the book revolve, we also get to know other characters and their stories, all of them influenced and tainted by the messiness of living before, during, and after the Angolan revolution. This is not a story that delves deeply into the inner workings of the characters, but it gives you just the right details to get a feeling for why they act the way they do, and how traumatic life can be like.
At the very end, the book gets quite dark and sinister, and the last chapter made me cry (just as a warning, if you’re a cry-baby like me).