Our choice for June is Patchwork, an award-winning novel by Zambian author, Ellen Banda-Aaku. Published by Penguin, the book won the 2010 Penguin Prize for African Writing (fiction) when it first came out in 2010.
Pumpkin, the young girl at the center of the story is destined from birth to inhabit two very different worlds – that of her father, the wealthy Joseph Sakavungo, and that of her mother, his mistress. This emotive tale takes us to the heart of a young girl’s attempts to come to terms with her own identity and fashion a future for herself from the patchwork of the life she was born into. Beautifully constructed, warm and wise, this is a novel that will transport the reader to a world in which we can all become more of the sum of our parts.
Weaving together the stories of three generations of women, this novel is a patchwork of love, jealousy and human frailty set against a backdrop of war and political ambition. It is a remarkable journey that takes us deep into the heart of a family both fractured and bound together by their love for one man.