Mia Couto was born in Beira, Mozambique in 1955, and is one of the most prominent writers in Portuguese-speaking Africa. He lives in Maputo, where he works as an environmental consultant and theatre director. His latest novel Under the Frangipani is published by Serpent's Tail. www.serpentstail.com

Talking raven's last warning

The talking raven fluttered about and alighted on Candida's ample shoulder. He turned this way and that on the mulatto woman's smooth, round perch. "Pardon me, Senhor Zuzé: he's not going to shit on me, is he?"

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