The Ham­burger That Killed Jorge

trans­lated by Alex Mac­beth Ethale Pub­lish­ing/ba­hati Books

The Africa Report - - ART & LIFE - Henry Brefo

Mélio Tinga’s epony­mous short story, ‘The Ham­burger That Killed Jorge’, is part of this de­but an­thol­ogy of Mozam­bi­can crime sto­ries by emerg­ing voices ex­per­i­ment­ing with the crime nar­ra­tive. Jorge, an adorable and quirky stick­ler for daily rou­tines and his cus­tom­ary lunch of fish and tomato ham­burger, wit­nesses an ar­gu­ment be­tween two men. The com­mo­tion sud­denly takes a fa­tal turn, end­ing in a bru­tal mur­der. Jorge’s life now hangs in the bal­ance as the per­pe­tra­tor of this dread­ful crime seeks to si­lence him. In Alex Mac­beth’s trans­la­tion from Por­tuguese into English the lan­guage colour­fully main­tains its dis­tinc­tive tone and vi­brant prose. The nar­ra­tive el­e­gantly pul­sates with verve and fast-paced ac­tion, and the au­thor’s hu­mor­ous tone and sim­plic­ity of ex­pres­sion brings to the dark genre of crime fic­tion a sparkle of hu­man warmth. With its 14 com­pan­ion sto­ries drawn from 60 sub­mis­sions, The Ham­burger That Killed Jorge is truly a wel­come con­tri­bu­tion to the grow­ing genre of ur­ban noir.

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