RADIO FRANCE-CULTURE/TÉLÉRAMA BEST WORK OF FICTION, 2011

“To understand what makes António “Mia” Emílio Leite Couto special — even extraordinary — we have to loosen our grip on the binary that distinguishes between 'the West' and 'Africa.' Couto is 'white' without not being African, and as an 'African' writer he’s one of the most important figures in a global Lusophone literature that stretches across three continents. The Tuner of Silences is an instantly recognizable part of this oeuvre … We begin with the magic, with fantasy, with the impossible, and we steadily discover, in the end, that it never really was, that it always was what we were trying to pretend it wasn’t. There is no magic. There is only reality.”
The New Inquiry

“Starkly poetic … a novel of damaged souls in a damaged country, The Tuner of Silences is an eloquent tale of loss.”
–M.A. Orthofer, The Complete Review

“Couto’s language is rich, fertile, and often full of riddles that turn reality, as we know it, on its head. His stories straddle African and European worlds, and his preoccupations range across issues of race and identity, national culture and legacies of the country’s civil war … The Tuner of Silences, translated into shimmering prose by David Bradshaw, is a true tour-de-force of modern African writing …

The book’s characters are complex and fleshed-out, besieged by doubts and secret pasts, and bound in different ways to one another ... This is a book about love and memory, death and war; about fathers and sons and the nature of women; about African ideas of existence and the liberating power of writing ... Couto’s literary cosmos, immersed in the history of Mozambique and the inner life of its people, is unforgettable. These two books are a wonderful chance to discover his visionary world.”
–Anderson Tepper, Words Without Borders

“A phenomenal book … a paragon of contemporary African literature ... some of the most beautiful and moving prose being written today.”
The Coffin Factory

“The biggest event in international literature this season could easily be the unexpected and magnificent novel of the Mozambican Mia Couto.... The fascination exerted by this novel, which one cannot put down, resides in its many resonances. The reader is immersed in the concrete, sensual, even comic nature of the universe into which he ushers us. Mia Couto has made his way discreetly in France as a short story writer and poet. Now we know that he is a very great novelist.”
L’Humanité (Paris) 

“The language floats in a zone where existence becomes a paste of voices and silence. Couto’s ghosts have huge hearts but fine ears.”
Libération (Paris)