ESSA DAMA BATE BUÉ!
Essa Dama Bate Bué! (2018, Portugal, Guerra e Paz Editores) is an electrifying and colourful story, with shadows of an uncertain and shifting past. Victoria was raised in Portugal by her grandparents and bears the marks of a trauma she can’t get over: she never met her mother who was an Angolan freedom fighter. A few months before her wedding, Victoria flees to Angola in search of her mother and her identity – personal, racial, cultural and even sexual. She lands in Luanda at the dawn of the 21st century – a place of striking social contrasts, where the imported car is displayed alongside the most dreadful scenes of hunger. A place where the boundaries of tragedy and comedy seem blurred, a city where “everything kills”.Essa Dama Bate Bué! is both a story of love and of war, a contemporary tale that deals with the past, a call for the independence of women as political beings. And of their own bodies in search of freedom.
“Essa dama bate bué! fictionalises a story like so many that have happened in real life. With fluid and descriptive writing, the author has created a novel that could also be a screenplay.”Jornal Público
“Essa dama bate bué! is of course a kind of tribute to the contribution of women’s struggle to the construction of Angolan independence, but it is much more than that – it is a courageous investigation into how much of ourselves we have lost in the course of migrations. A novel that blends descriptive competence with philosophical musings loaded with irony and rigour.”Folha de São Paulo
“A deep, funny, and courageous novel that gives Angolan women their voice back, while skilfully reflecting on identity issues, so current and important in the world we live in.”José Eduardo Agualusa, Writer
“YNM revisits a personal and collective history, in which the lives of expatriates who suffer the discomfort of a painful isolation are retraced in a drama in which the social-historical forms the backdrop for the outline of psychological liabilities.”Jornal de Letras
“Her very first memory is a tree; the second, a wave. Without casting a shadow, she flies through the roots bearing the bottom of the sea. She doesn’t exist prior to that moment, or beyond it. These are images that burst into her dreams and terrorise her sleep.From time to time, whiffs of the intense aroma of sour milk emerge. Then the taste of sweat, salty, that lingers on her tongue. Part of her finds comfort in such sensations. The other part is disturbed by the emptiness they bring, these are the only the memories she has left of her mother. The most intimate truth is to not be able to claim her mother as hers. She knows that. Rosa Chitula, her mother, loved Angola more than she loved her daughter and fought for the country.
Her name is Vitória Queiroz da Fonseca.
She is a woman.
She is black.”
Silenced Violence in the Feminine: A Reading of Yara Monteiro’s Essa Dama Bate Bué!
Based on the most recent research on women and violence during the colonial and civil war periods which defined post-independence Angola, I analyze Essa Dama Bate Bué!, a novel written by writer Yara Monteiro. My objective is to show, on the one hand, how the novel tells us that writing about personal matters means writing about politics. On the other hand, it is my intention to explore how the writer explores the issue of female violence by creating female characters who enact violence on other women, specifically their own children. Monteiro’s novel demonstrates the interconnectedness of violence, public and private, and its effect on social and psychic life. In sum, my goal is to highlight the silenced forms of familial violence within the broader context of colonial and civil conflicts in Angola and their repercussions in the country’s post-independence.
“ESSA DAMA BATE BUÉ!” e o Cânone Literário Angolano
Essa Dama Bate Bué! and the Angolan Literary Canon. A relevant topic for the history of literature, the literary canon has been widely questioned and the Angolan literary canon is no exception, being constantly susceptible to changes. The current paper aims at challenging the Angolan literary canon and defending the necessity of including the novel Essa Dama Bate Bué! by Yara Monteiro. Published in 2018, it represents an example of silenced literature about women and guerrilla movements during the war for national independence, the subsequent civil war, and the post-conflict period. The book problematizes the presence of women in national wars, the countless roles they played, but also their integration in the post-colonial society, giving insights into a topic largely ignored in Angolan literature.