Archive for the ‘Mia Couto’ Category


[READ: December 9, 2021] “The Marine House”

This year, S. ordered me The Short Story Advent Calendar.  This is my seventh time reading the Calendar.  The 2021 Short Story Advent Calendar is a deluxe box set of individually bound short stories.

As always, each story is a surprise, so you won’t know what you’re getting until you crack the seal every morning starting December 1. Once you’ve read that day’s story, check this link where editor Alberto Manguel is providing daily commentary on each of the stories he selected for this year’s calendar.

This is the story of a young person being enamored with an old hermit named Tiane Kumadzi.

The narrator’s parents said to avoid this strange man, but the narrator loved that Tiane saw signs from the world beyond.

One day Grandad Tiane tossed the narrator a piece of wood–it’s what he’d been looking for, he said.  The narrator started looking for more wood and son enough Tiane built a boat==a boat that could walk on water.

The villagers were horrified by this abomination and decided to set fire to it.

The fire seemed to make the villagers drunk–was the wood covered in poison?  And when the smoke cleared, the boat was still intact.

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