We killed Mangy-Dog by Luis Bernardo Honwana

We killed Mangy-Dog & other Mozambique stories is one for the reading around the world challenge and also for the African Reading Challenge. I came across it when I was browsing through my bookshelves looking for books by people with foreign-sounding names. 

I have actually read it before — I read it when I bought it, about 15 years ago — but it’s short, so I thought I’d re-read it before ticking Mozambique off the list. I don’t remember it making much impact on me then, but this time I was impressed. It’s a slim (117 page) collection of vivid, fatalistic short stories, set in rural Mozambique and mainly told from a child’s perspective. Stylistically it has a kind of plain directness, in this translation at least. Kind of Hemingwayish. Not that I’ve read any Hemingway recently.

It seems to be out of print, unfortunately, but if you happen upon a copy somewhere, pick it up.

» The picture, Students returning from the school farm, was posted to Flickr by afronie and is used under a by-sa CC licence. It has no particular connection to the book except that it was taken in Mozambique.

11 Comments

  1. TARIRO
    20 April 2010 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    themes in the text we killed mangy dog

  2. nyasha gomera
    4 July 2010 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    for real we killed mangy dog novel is a very pathetic book especially considering the treatment of blacks by whites

  3. hugh huggett
    12 April 2011 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    We killed Mangy dog is a brilliant look at a coming of age of a young boy. It captures with terrible accuracy the heartfelt choices he has to face as the butt of children’s teasing and laughter takes its toll – the shooting of mangy dog is almost too brutal too bear as each moment is described with startling clarity and insight.

  4. mckineckious
    21 July 2011 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Madala is one of the major victims of oppression from the overseer who abuses her daughter maria and Madala forbids the gang to take measures.

  5. Venancio Matungamire
    30 October 2011 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    We killed mangy dog & other Mozambician stories mirrors the pre-colonial period of Mozambipue.

  6. Venancio Matungamire
    3 November 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    It is sad to say the action of wolf the dog and Nandito in “Papa snake & I” is similar to that of A.U when Libia was attacked by the NATO forces and when Gaddafi was killed.

  7. Sharon
    28 March 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    The novel gives an exposure of social injustices imposed on the black race by the white race.the rape of Pittarosi’s wife on a symbolical level it signifies the rape of mother Africa.

  8. Sharon Moyo
    28 March 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    the uttered words by Madala which say,”The Mulungo’s corn field are like the see ” Shows us the that the Portuguese have taken vast lands while the blacks have been evacuated from their mother land hence it gives an exposure of injustice within the colonial rule

  9. kudzai
    20 May 2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    we killed the mangy dog represents a decadent colonial system that is need of being destroyed in order to make way for a new pure society ;free of discrimination and racism

  10. racheal kanjuma
    31 October 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    the story casts light on the Mozambiquan political situation of the time

  11. sue
    20 May 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    We killed mangy dog is a tasty novel potraying former economic,political and social situation of colonial regime not only in Mozambique but Africa as a whole.

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