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An Elegy for Easterly by Petina Gappah
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An Elegy for Easterly

by Petina Gappah

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Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Really well written, but so depressing. There is humour, but it's very bleak, set against a backdrop of corruption, poverty, aids and infidelity. The worst thing for me about this book is that I know someone from Zimbabwe and remember the joy she had in the late 80s/early 90s. She now lives in economic exile in South Africa, because even for a Shona, the situation in Zimbabwe is too hard. This collection of stories reminded me that the people of Zimbabwe have been suffering for more than 20 years now. Depressing. ( )
  missizicks | Aug 4, 2013 |
A collection of short stories by a Zimbabwean woman who is a lawyer living now in Geneva. The setting, in Zimbabwe, immediately invites comparisons with Chimimanda Adichie from Nigeria — but it lacks that immediacy and intimacy somehow. 3 1/2* ( )
  BCbookjunky | Mar 31, 2013 |
The book consists of a series of short stories regarding the repressive and economically destructive regime of Zimbabwa's leader Robert Mugabe.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/29/robert-mugabe-un-international-envoy....

Overall the stories were very well written, but very dark and depressing. I learned quite a lot about Zimbabwe and the spirit of the people.

Here is a quote from page 92 of the book:

"And then there are the Growth Pointers, as I call them, the people of Mupandawana whose lives prove my theory that life is one big jest at the expense of humanity."

Thanks to Darryl for recommending this one.

Here is his very insightful review written for Bellestrista

http://www.belletrista.com/2010/issue5/reviews_3.php ( )
  Whisper1 | Jun 25, 2012 |
A collection of short stories by a Zimbabwean woman who is a lawyer living now in Geneva. The setting, in Zimbabwe, immediately invites comparisons with Chimimanda Adichie from Nigeria — but it lacks that immediacy and intimacy somehow. 3 1/2* ( )
  TheBookJunky | Sep 24, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Not finished - just did not appeal to me, even though I usually enjoy short stories. ( )
  CarltonC | Aug 7, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Petina Gappah was born in Zimbabwe and currently works as a lawyer in Geneva. This, her first published work of fiction, is a collection of 13 stories, all but one of which are set in her homeland and feature characters struggling with the hyperinflation, bureaucracy and misogyny that beset life in Mugabe's Zimbabwe.

"More and more I have come to admire resilience," begins the epigraph, a poem by Jane Hirshfield. Yet sometimes laughter is the only form of resilience Petina Gappah's characters can manage, and it is the frequent humour in these stories that makes them remarkable, even if their outcomes can be tragic. Often satirical, occasionally lyrical, they are a delight.
added by kidzdoc | editThe Observer, Tom Fleming (Apr 19, 2009)
 
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Epigraph
More and more I have come to admire resilience. Not the simple resisance of a pillow, whose foam returns over andf over to the same shape, but the sinuous
tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side,
it turns in another. A blind intelligence, true. But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers, mitochondria, figs - all this resinous, unretractable earth. ----Jane Hirshfield, 'Optimism'
Dedication
For Tererai and Simbiso Gappah, my beloved parents, and for Regina, Ratiel, Vimbai anfd Vuchirai
First words
The bugle call shatters the stillness of the shrine. Its familiar but haunting melancholy cannot fail to move. Even the President seems misty-eyed behind his glasses.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0571246931, Paperback)

Petina Gappah is the voice of Zimbabwe. In this astonishingly powerful debut collection, she dissects with real poignancy the lives of people caught up in a situation over which they have no control, as they deal with spiralling inflation, power cuts and financial hardship - a way of life under Mugabe's regime - and cope with issues common to all people everywhere; failed promises, disappointments and unfulfilled dreams. Compelling, unflinching and tender, "An Elegy for Easterly" is a defining book, and a stunning portrait of a country in chaotic meltdown.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:14 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A debut collection by a Zimbabwean international trade lawyer is set in a world under the regime of Robert Mugabe where privilege and corruption shape the boundaries of everyday life, sharing the stories of such characters as a childless woman in a township filled with youngsters, a coffin-maker who finds unexpected riches, and a politician's widow who is keenly aware that her husband's grave is empty.… (more)

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