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José Luís Mendonça

Translated by Han Hu


Only the unwary


the crown of the virus.

Those who breathe

the fire of heaven

fly higher

than death

and dethrone

the pneumonic crown

of the virus.



José Luís Mendonça was born in Angola and published a number of poetry and prose books, from which the last one is the novel Se os Ministros Morassem no Musseque (2019). In 2015, he won the Culture and Arts National Prize in the literature category. His book Lenda da Mãe África e do Filho que Vendeu o Coração won the 2019 edition of the literary award Jardim do Livro Infantil. He's a professor of Portuguese Language at the Social Sciences Faculty, University Agostinho Neto.

Han Hu graduated in Portuguese Language from Beijing Foreign Studies University and is now doing a Master’s in Modern Languages at Oxford with a focus on Brazilian Literature and African Literature in Portuguese. A few selected short stories by Teolinda Gersão translated by Han will be published in China in 2022.

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