José Luandino Vieira
José Luandino Vieira was born in Portugal in 1935 and grew up in Luanda. He was one of a group of political activists whose trial in 1959 helped spark the Angolan uprising against colonial rule. He spent most of the following fifteen years in prison or under house arrest, until the collapse of the Portuguese dictatorship in 1974. His first collection of short stories, Luuanda, written in prison, was awarded the Fiction Prize by the Portuguese Writers’ Society in 1965, resulting in the society’s closure by the Salazar regime. Following Angolan independence, he held a number of important literary and cultural roles under the new Angolan government, including secretary-general of the Angolan Writers’ Union. He has published two novels (Nós, os do Makulusu (1974) and Nosso Musseque (2003)), two novellas and seven collections of short stories, along with two parts of his De Rios Velhos e Guerrilheiros trilogy. In 2006 he was awarded, but declined for personal reasons, the Camões Prize, the most prestigious international award for literature in the Portuguese language. He now lives in Portugal.