Thursday, April 16, 2009

An Elegy for Easterly by Petina Gappah (40/81)

Category: Around the World
Country: Zimbabwe

Horrific political regimes do at least seem to produce some interesting literature, and this collection of short stories is no exception. The stories are centred around Zimbabwe, mainly as affected by Mugabe’s rule with the soaring inflation, AIDS epidemic and social injustice.

Whilst Mugabe doesn't feature directly in many of the stories, the impact of his oppressive regime and the tragedies of the instability in Zimbabwe can be felt across the collection. The stories cover the whole social spectrum of Zimbabwian society, and although there are glimpses of humour, it is overall a bleak portrait. The quality of the writing is however excellent, making it compelling reading and unlike many short story collections, there aren't any weak points here.

I would certainly be keen to read more by this author and hope there will be a full length novel in the future.

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