A dark, poetic mystery about the tribal women of Kulumani and the lionesses that hunt them
Told through two haunting interwoven diaries, Mia Couto's Confession of the Lioness reveals the enigmatic world of Kulumani, an isolated village in Mozambique whose traditions and beliefs are threatened when ghostlike lionesses begin hunting and killing the women who live there.
Mariamar, a young woman from the village, finds her life thrown into chaos just as the marksman hired to kill the lionesses, the outsider Archangel Bullseye, arrives in town. Mariamar's sister was recently killed in one of the attacks, and her father has imprisoned her in his home, where she relives painful memories of past abuse and hopes to be rescued by Archangel. Meanwhile, Archangel attempts to track the lionesses out in the wilderness, but when he begins to suspect there is more to these predators than meets the eye, he slowly starts to lose control of his hands. The hunt grows more and more dangerous, until it's no safer inside Kulumani than outside it. As the men of Kulumani feel increasingly threatened by the outsider, the forces of modernity upon their culture, and the animal predators closing in, it becomes clear that the lionesses might not be real lionesses at all, but rather spirits conjured by the ancient witchcraft of the women themselves.
Both a riveting mystery and a poignant examination of women's oppression, Confession of the Lioness combines reality, superstition, and magic realism in an atmospheric, gripping novel.