Last Men of the Lusosphere: Postapocalypse in Twenty-First- Century Novels from Angola and Brazil

  • Benjamin Burt Pitzer College
Keywords: Anthropocene, contemporary literature, decoloniality, epistemology, science fiction


Angolan author Pepetela’s O quase fim do mundo (2008) and Brazilian writer Luiz Bras’s Sozinho no deserto extremo (2012) begin with a similar event: the instantaneous disappearance of almost all human life. From this point, the two novels’ portraits of postapocalypse diverge as both authors consider multiple functions of apocalyptic narration. This article begins by comparing the works’ respective depictions of apocalypse with a focus on didactic revelation, social critique, and hope for renewal. Departing from the religious apocalypticism associated with earlier Lusophone literature, these texts prioritize secular critique of globalized capitalism and offer skeptical visions of societal rebirth. While the immediate future appears dim for both novels’ survivors, the article’s final section argues that the texts subtly model a decolonial turn rooted in the embrace of Amerindian and traditional African ontologies suppressed since colonialism.