Bite-size Review: The Book of Memory | Petina Gappah


The Book of Memory | Petina Gappah

Estranged, accursed and displaced, our protagonist in The Book of Memory pieces together the accounts of her demise. Memory is an albino woman facing the death penalty in Chikurubi, a maximum prison in Harare for the death of Lloyd Hendricks, her adopted patron. The accounts of her life, flows in fragments and scattered recollections mapping the painful guiles of memory. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: The Book of Memory | Petina Gappah”

Bite-size Review: The Hairdresser of Harare | Tendai Huchu


The Hairdresser of Harare | Tendai Huchu

This truly captures the spirit of ‘new writing’ within the African literary genre. The Hairdresser of Harare by the Zimbabwean writer Tendai Huchu illuminates the socio-political and cultural conditions of present day Zimbabwe. Through the heartbreaking friendship of Dumisani, a wealthy young man and Vimbai a struggling single mother; a set of complex political, economic and social relations unique to the country’s history of independence unfolds. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: The Hairdresser of Harare | Tendai Huchu”

Bite-size Review: We Need New Names | NoViolet Bulawayo


We Need New Names | NoViolet Bulawayo

Darling is an endearing protagonist with a narrative voice that adds vibrancy to the harsh circumstances which confront her and her friends, families and neighbours within the shanty province. You journey through the decrepit rotten paths of littered used goods, imagining the striking repugnant smell and the wonderful conflux of colours; especially when hunting for guava. However, once she immigrates to America, to be honest, it’s a disappointment page after page. Let me explain. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: We Need New Names | NoViolet Bulawayo”

Interview with Brian Chikwava on his novel ‘Harare North’

Brian Chikwava

For those who have not heard the name- Brian Chikwava – is the author of Harare North. His début novel Harare North, published in 2010, recounts the experience of Zimbabwean migrants squatting in the decrepit quarters of Brixton. Brian has developed a narrative style uniquely his own, his use of language is elegantly provincial, reflective of the sub cultural disposition of his characters. His short story “Seventh Street Alchemy” was awarded the 2004 Caine Prize for African Writing. Afrikult. caught up with Brian  in 2015 to chat about his work… Continue reading “Interview with Brian Chikwava on his novel ‘Harare North’”

Bite-size Review: Harare North | Brian Chikwava


Harare North | Brian Chikwava

Now, I start this book thinking it will be like normal book, normal like African boy land in UK but struggle book. This book is normal but make your brain go turn on its head because it written in this kind of language. Zimbabwean street vernacular, you see? Sometimes you don’t understand what is happening because of words narrator use; foreign but specific to Zimbabwe street lingo. This book tells painful story of a young illegal immigrant boy without a name. His story be that kind of pain that makes you feel sad and angry. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Harare North | Brian Chikwava”

Bite-size Review: Nervous Conditions | Tsitsi Dangarembga


Nervous Conditions | Tsitsi Dangarembga

In the frenzy of cultural and social transformations driven primarily by colonialism, the central characters of Nervous Conditions seek to find or exercise a displaced or lost identity. Yet the path towards self-discovery and acceptance leads to self- destruction. Dangaremba’s work unpicks the complex layers underpinning colonized subjectivity and identity reconstruction. The book offers a critique of colonial patriarchy seen through the lenses of its female characters, who stand as fragments of embattled consciousness. Like a jury to imperial delinquency, it calls the reader to witness the plight of women of different generations immured in the turmoil of double oppression. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Nervous Conditions | Tsitsi Dangarembga”

Bite-size Review: The House of Hunger | Dambudzo Marechera


The House of Hunger | Dambudzo Marechera

House of Hunger as the title of Marechera’s novella effectively captures the cynicism and despair of Zimbabwe’s sociopolitical reality at the time of Ian Smiths controversial administration. Society is ‘hungry’ for political self-determination and retribution; yet through the skilfully crafted narrative it becomes more than just a comment on society, Marechera unapologetically forces his reader to critically engage with the enormity of colonialism’s impact. The repetitive use of visceral language combined with the powerful imagery it evokes creates a stagnant and cramped environment in which the unnamed protagonist and his counterparts attempt to survive. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: The House of Hunger | Dambudzo Marechera”