The Drinker of Horizons

A Novel
by Mia Couto (Author), David Brookshaw (Translator)
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The scintillating conclusion to the critically acclaimed historical saga: the Jan Michalski Prizewinning Sands of the Emperor trilogy.

“[Couto’s] life has been woven into the history of the nation, and he has become the foremost chronicler of Mozambique’s antiheroes: its women, its peasants, even its dead.” —Jacob Judah, The New York Times

In The Drinker of Horizons, the award-winning author Mia Couto brings the epic love story between a young Mozambican woman named Imani and the Portuguese sergeant Germano de Melo to its moving close. We resume where The Sword and the Spear concluded: While Germano is left behind in Africa, serving with the Portuguese military, Imani has been enlisted to act as the interpreter to the imprisoned emperor of Gaza, Ngungunyane, on the long voyage to Lisbon. For the emperor and his seven wives, it will be a journey of no return. Imani’s own return will come only after a decade-long odyssey through the Portuguese empire at the beginning of the twentieth century.

If history is always narrated by the victors, in The Drinker of Horizons, Couto performs an act of restorative justice, giving a voice to those silenced by the horrors of colonialism. Throughout, Couto’s language astonishes, rendering with utter clarity the beauty and terror of war and love, and revealing the devastation of a profoundly unequal encounter between cultures.

Publication date
March 14, 2023
Paper ISBN
File size
1 MB
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