2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Fighting for Peace: A Historical Analysis of Mia Couto’s Sleepwalking Land
Melissa N. Dryer
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Sleepwalking Land is an account of the civil unrest in Mozambique following its independence from Portugal in 1975. Rather than watch his home be torn apart by conflict, Mia Couto, a white Mozambican journalist, challenges his countrymen through his literature. As the novel’s main characters, Tuahir and Muidinga, travel through the pages of Kindzu’s notebooks, the reader is taken on a journey through Mozambique’s troubled past. This paper will analyze Mia Couto’s past and Mozambican history alongside Sleepwalking Land, arguing that the story is Couto’s manifesto, imploring peace for his beloved country. With an extensive European education, Portuguese heritage, and his political activism Couto provides a noteworthy view of Mozambique’s struggle. In my paper I will show the ways in which Couto harnesses literature to not only inform others of his country’s history, but also demand improvement from within.

Keywords: Mia Couto, Mozambique, Sleepwalking Land, Africa, Racial Issues, Civil War

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 6-2
Location: OP 2115
Time: 8:30 am

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