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Singing Away the Hunger : The Autobiography…

Singing Away the Hunger : The Autobiography of an African Woman

by Mpho Matsepo Nthunya

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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    Dalai Lama, My Son by Diki Tsering (meggyweg)
    meggyweg: These books are on opposite sides of the world but each describe a life of grinding poverty and a culture alien to the west.

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Lesotho. A volume of short autobiographical stories by a Basotho woman, aided by a US woman (who explains her involvement and her concerns about colonial/exploitative practices). These stories, loosely but not entirely chronologically presented, detail a complex, difficult life in a country changing over to self-rule. If I were training medical volunteers for Lesotho, I'd have them read this as a way to understand how people might be making health care, education, and economic decisions on the basis of beliefs and practical realities very different from those of the professionals. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
Mpho was a cleaning lady at the University of Lesotho with lots of stories to tell as she went about her work. As she routinely shared her life stories with a visiting lecturer at the university, the woman realised the deep value in her stories as a means to celebrate a life in the great African story-telling tradition.

The book is a tribute to a resilient woman who, through sheer determination, found a way to create a positive life for herself despite her circumstances. The stories are well-told, and her authentic voice has been maintained. As such, the stories are relatively unsophisticated, and the language is not great, but there is a lot to be appreciated.

Here is an autobiography of a woman without real formal education, almost no interaction with books and writing, but with a published book to her name; “a miracle” she proclaims, at the hands of someone who found the time to listen and capture what she thought was significant. Though strange in terms of some of the superstitions held by the African communities involved, this was a worthwhile read.
  akeela | Mar 18, 2010 |
I have to agree with the back of the book which says, a compelling and unique autobiography by an African woman with little formal education, less privilege, and almost no experience of books or writing. Mpho's voice is a voice almost never heard in literature or history, a voice from within the struggle of 'ordinary' African women to negotiate a world which incorporates ancient pastoral ways and the congestion, brutality, and racist violence of city life. It is also the voice of a born storyteller who has a subject worthy of her gifts--a story for all the world to hear.

And I really can't add much to that. Her story is mesmerizing. ( )
2 vote avaland | Jul 27, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mpho Matsepo Nthunyaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kendall, K. LimakatsoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuzwayo, EllenForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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