A General Theory of Oblivion

A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa

On the eve of Angolan independence an agoraphobic woman named Ludo bricks herself into her apartment for 30 years, living off vegetables and the pigeons she lures in with diamonds, burning her furniture and books to stay alive and writing her story on the apartment’s walls.

Almost as if we’re eavesdropping, the history of Angola unfolds through the stories of those she sees from her window. As the country goes through various political upheavals from colony to socialist republic to civil war to peace and capitalism, the world outside seeps into Ludo’s life through snippets on the radio, voices from next door, glimpses of someone peeing on a balcony, or a man fleeing his pursuers.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Agoraphobia
  • Burns
  • Murder & mass murder
  • Pregnancy from rape
  • Rape
  • Slavery
  • Torture mentioned
  • War themes

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