While swimming in the clear blue waters of the Rainbow Hotel, Daniel Benchimol finds a waterproof camera, floating seemingly lost in the sea. He goes on to discover that the camera belongs to Moira, a Mozambican artist famous for a series of photos depicting her own dreams. On seeing the images, Daniel realises that Moira is also the mysterious woman whom he has been dreaming about repeatedly. The two meet, and Daniel becomes involved in a unusual dream experiment with a Brazilian neuroscientist, who's working with Moira on a machine to film and photograph people’s dreams.
Meanwhile, Daniel’s daughter Karinguiri, one of Angola’s young dreamers, is arrested along with six friends for staging a protest during a presidential press conference in Luanda. The group go on hunger strike, attracting worldwide press attention, showing the power of young people when they raise their voices against the regime.
The Society of Reluctant Dreamers is a surreal, vivid novel about the slipperiness of truth and reality, art versus dictatorship, courage versus fear, change and the old order, amidst the politics of Angola's tumultuous past, present and future.
Agualusa consistently treats Angolan history and identity with the lyrical experimentalism and unabashed weirdness of the surrealist... he restores the vivifying potential of dreams as enablers of courage, conviction and transformation