Antonio Lobo Antunès
Conversation with Portuguese writer Antonio Lobo Antunès in Lisbon. He talks about his participation in the war against Angola and talks about how reading Victor Hugo helped him make it through those terrible times.
Antonio Lobo Antunes (1942) counts, with Jose Saramago, among the most translated Portuguese authors and the most read in the world. From a family of the Lisbon bourgeoisie, son of a neurologist, he studied medicine and did his service, between 1971 and 1973 in Angola as a military medic at the height of the war of independence. The terrible experience of this colonial conflict, during which over 3000 Portuguese soldiers died, inspired his first novels: Elephant's Memory (1979), South of Nowhere (1979) and Knowledge of Hell (1981).
Having an uncompromising view on the history of his country, from the Salazarist dictatorship to democracy and Portuguese Society, notably the bourgeoisie from which he came, his work stalks and denounces the absurdity of war as the pettiness of peacetime.
Author of a dozen novels, he abandoned psychiatry in 1985 to dedicate himself to his work, which earned him the Camoes Prize in 2007.