Pepetela
(1941-)

Angolan novelist of Portuguese descent, he fought with the leftist MPLA during its guerrilla war against Portuguese colonialism, and has remained a leftist.




The Return of the Water Spirit (1995): 103 pages, written on the basis of the changing situation in Angola during the 1990's, it uses the "Water Spirit" as a metaphor for the growing corruption of the government and the ruling MPLA (The People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola – Labor Party, fought an armed struggle against Portuguese colonialism from 1961-1974, and has ruled Angola continuously since 1975). A criticism (from the left) of the MPLA (which was avowedly "Marxist-Leninist" until 1991) whose Marxism was superficial and skin deep even in the 1970's as Pepetela puts it, and which simply went with the current and renounced Marxism as soon as the Soviet Union collapsed. The novel satirizes the opportunists who fill the MPLA's upper-echelons, who were skin-deep leftists before 1991 when it served their interests, and then after were quick to become boisterous supporters of capitalism as well as masters in using their positions to enrich themselves and in the art of corruption in general.