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Home » Books » Fiction & Literature » Short Stories

An Elegy for Easterly

By Petina Gappah

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Format: Paperback, 288 pages, Main Edition
Published In: United Kingdom, 01 December 2009
A woman in a township in Zimbabwe is surrounded by throngs of dusty children but longs for a baby of her own; an old man finds that his job making coffins at No Matter Funeral Parlour brings unexpected riches; a politician's widow quietly stands by at her husband's funeral watching his colleagues bury an empty coffin.Petina Gappah's characters may have ordinary hopes and dreams, but they are living in a world where a loaf of bread costs half a million dollars, a country expected to have only four presidents in a hundred years; and a place where poeple know exactly what will be printed in the one and only daily newspaper because the news is always, always good.In her spirited debut collection, Zimbabwean author Petina Gappah brings us the resilience and inventiveness of the people who struggle to live under Robert Mugabe's regime whilst also battling issues common to all people everywhere: failed promises, unfulfilled dreams and the yearning for something to anchor them to life.

Promotional Information

An Elegy for Easterly by Petina Gappah is an unforgettable collection of stories set in Zimbabwe, and the winner of the Guardian First Book Award.

About the Author

Petina Gappah is a Zimbabwean writer with law degrees from Cambridge, Graz University and the University of Zimbabwe. Her short fiction and essays have been published in eight countries. She lives with her son Kush in Geneva, where she works as counsel in an international organisation that provides legal aid on international trade law to developing countries. She is currently completing her first novel, The Book of Memory.

Reviews

In her accomplished debut, Gappah, a Zimbabwean writer and international trade lawyer, casts her compassionate eye on a diverse array of characters living, grieving, loving-and fighting to survive-under Robert Mugabe's regime. "In the Heart of the Golden Triangle," the second-person narrative of a wealthy woman's tormented marriage, turns a mirror upon the reader: "You worry because you have not found condoms in his pockets," the narrator muses of her husband's behavior, "but in the cushioned comfort of your four-by-four, you don't feel a thing." Meanwhile, in "The Cracked, Pink Lips of Rosie's Bridegroom," a village ponders a doomed marriage in which the groom, who has a history of "buried... girlfriends," is clearly marked as being afflicted by "the big disease with the little name." In "The Mupandawana Dancing Champion," Gappah sets her sights on political absurdities with a cutting story about a coffin maker with some great dance moves and an unfortunate nickname. Gappah's deep well of empathy and saber-sharp command of satire give her collection a surplus of heart and verve. (June) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

EAN: 9780571246946
ISBN: 057124694X
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.6 x 1.8 centimetres (0.22 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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1 review(s)
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Yolanda on
 
Tales told masterfully! Something truly fantastic to behold for any reader – especially Zimbabweans. The laughs and Zimbabwean clichés are endless. This book is satirical in that the stories are based in some of the sad realities in Zimbabwe but Petina has really done a brilliant job in telling these stories. The author manages to touch all sections of Zimbabwean society from those formed during its inception to those living in modern day Zimbabwe. The book is easy to read and consumes the reader, I just could not put it down and recommend it highly.

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