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Notebook of Colonial Memories

Isabela Figueiredo

Translated from the Portuguese by Anna M. Klobucka and Phillip Rothwell

When Isabela Figueiredo's Caderno de Memórias Coloniais (Notebook of Colonial Memories) was published in Portugal in late 2009, it was greeted by marked critical interest and popular acclaim. It was also controversial. Figueiredo's literary memoir traced her growing up in the 1960s and 70s in Mozambique—then still a Portuguese colony. Its depiction of her "return" at the age of thirteen to Portugal, a country she had never seen, a few months after Mozambique's independence, offered an uncommonly candid and unsparing perspective on the realities of late Portuguese colonialism in Africa. Her memoir is traumatically colored by the political climate surrounding the "repatriation" of hundreds of thousands of former colonial settlers, mainly from Angola and Mozambique.

From the "Introduction."