The Usefulness of Uselessness: Short Stories by José Eduardo Agualusa

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Estranhões & Bizarrocos: Stories for angels to sleep is a children’s and young adult book authored in Portuguese by Angolan writer JoséEduardo Agualusa. This paper posits that the book’s constituent short stories, initially intended for children, bear potential appeal to readers across all age brackets, situating themselves within the realm of ‘crossover fiction’. The book’s title resonates with the semantic sphere of the strange or peculiar. Within the narratives, ‘the stranger’ correlates with the child's fantastical world, but also aligns with the ‘foreigner’ inherent within these short stories. To unpack the representations of this ‘bizarre’ Other depicted in the stories, we employ literary imagology. This approach reveals the role of images curated by the narrators in constructing the implicit theme shared across the book’s 10 short stories. Lastly, the work provokes readers to ponder the value of seemingly usefulness things and situations—a reflection that carries its own meta-literary significance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1262-1269
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Language Teaching and Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023


  • Estranhões & Bizarrocos
  • JoséEduardo Agualusa
  • crossover literature
  • literary imagology


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