Posts tagged zimbabwe

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

This is a book of two halves. The first half is set in an unnamed African country that bears more than a passing resemblance to Zimbabwe, and the second half is set in the USA. Narrating both halves is Darling, a ten-year-old child in the first half and a teenager in the second. Her voice is compelling and beautifully written throughout, and I think it’s Darling’s voice that was the main reason for the novel’s Booker shortlisting. Here is Darling, for example, describing her Aunt Fostalina’s struggles with the English… Read More

“An Elegy for Easterly” by Petina Gappah

This debut short-story collection by Zimbabwean writer Petina Gappah is a wonderful read. The tone of each one is perfect: the language is consistently beautiful but also completely natural. You get to know the characters very quickly, through small details artfully described, and are left at just the right moment to move on to the next tale. The title gives a clue to what’s in store. “Elegy” is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “A song of lamentation, esp. a funeral song or lament for the dead”. This book… Read More