Winner of the Macmillan Prize for African Adult Fiction -- An uncompromising novel by one of Africa's premiere writers, detailing the horrors of civil war in luminous, haunting prose In 1980, after decades of guerilla war against colonial rule, Rhodesia earned its hard-fought-for independence from Britain. Less than two years thereafter when Mugabe rose to power in the new Zimbabwe, it signaled the begining of brutal civil unrest that would last nearly a half decade more. With "The Stone Virgins" Yvonne Vera examines the dissident movement from the perspective of two sisters living in a small township outside of Bulawayo. In a portrait painted in successive impressions of life before and after the liberation, Vera explores the quest for dignity and a centered existence against a backdrop of unimaginable violence; the twin instincts of survival and love; the rival pulls of township and city life; and mankind's capacity for terror, beauty, and sacrifice. One sister will find a reason for hope. One will not make it through alive. Weaving historical fact within a story of grand passions and striking endurance, Vera has gifted us with a powerful and provocative testament to the resilience of the Zimbabwean people.
This is the fascinating story of a young girl from a very poor family who raised her head high and raised the dignity of women through her own personal and determined effort. She did not yield to the victimizations of corrupt minds, nor to the temptations of apathy and pessimistic thinking; rather she saw everything optimistically and through many hardships achieved her life?'s ambitions.
This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived. In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now twenty-five years old, tells a riveting story: how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he'd been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. This is a rare and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.
Throughout the centuries, Africa has concealed multiple secrets, waylaying and confounding the unwary. Today, as economists, politicians, experts and the cognoscenti from within and outside the continent seek to "fix" Africa and its perceived problems, the need to understand its mysteries has never been greater. Africa's future tells the tale of Africa's economic evolution, providing unique prisms through which to view the continent's panoramic story - ultimately one of triumph over the influences of nature and over multiple political tragedies. It explains how Africa in effect went backwards for one and a half thousand years, from the Roman Empire to 1500 CE. Only in more recent times has Africa gradually begun to evolve and grow, to the point at which its modern and archaic economies uneasily coexist today. Modern Africa has developed diverse economic pathways to betterment - yet survivalist economies still litter the landscape. The continent's paradox of "subsistence with many faces" is manifested in its tiny middle class, its growing numbers of rich, and the ever-greater numbers of poor expected in the future.
From the winner of the 2010 Waverton Good Read Award comes another good read. Beth Jenkins locum doctor, semi-bereaved wife runs away from home at the age of twenty-eight and a half and becomes heroine of a revolution. Locked into a lonely future by a cruel twist of fate, Beth reaches breaking point, leaves her husband, and flees to faraway Zimbabwe. But there she finds herself at the centre of a deadly struggle for the ownership of a farm. From a guest of honour at the President s table to a disastrous decision that betrays a good man, her fresh start threatens to end in catastrophe. Does the land, and its painted rocks, hold clues to atonement and re-found love? Fortunate is an intelligent, moving novel with a gripping plot about how to defy fate and about the relationship we have with the land we live on.