Popular Zimbabwe Books

27+ [Hand Picked] Popular Books On Zimbabwe

Discover the list of some best books written on Zimbabwe by popular award winning authors. These book on topic Zimbabwe highly popular among the readers worldwide.

3.7/5

I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Caitlin Alifirenka , Martin Ganda , Liz Welch (With)

The true story of an all-American girl and a boy from an impoverished city in Zimbabwe and the letter that changed both of their lives forever. It started as an assignment. Everyone in Caitlin's class wrote to an unknown student somewhere in a distant place. All the other kids picked countries like France or Germany, but when Caitlin saw Zimbabwe written on the board, it so The true story of an all-American girl and a boy from an impoverished city in Zimbabwe and the letter that changed both of their lives forever. It started as an assignment. Everyone in Caitlin's class wrote to an unknown student somewhere in a distant place. All the other kids picked countries like France or Germany, but when Caitlin saw Zimbabwe written on the board, it sounded like the most exotic place she had ever heard of--so she chose it. Martin was lucky to even receive a pen pal letter. There were only ten letters, and forty kids in his class. But he was the top student, so he got the first one. That letter was the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives. In this compelling dual memoir, Caitlin and Martin recount how they became best friends --and better people--through letters. Their story will inspire readers to look beyond their own lives and wonder about the world at large and their place in it.

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3.1/5

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

An exciting literary debut: the unflinching and powerful story of a young girl's journey out of Zimbabwe and to America. Darling is only ten years old, and yet she must navigate a fragile and violent world. In Zimbabwe, Darling and her friends steal guavas, try to get the baby out of young Chipo's belly, and grasp at memories of Before. Before their homes were destroyed by An exciting literary debut: the unflinching and powerful story of a young girl's journey out of Zimbabwe and to America. Darling is only ten years old, and yet she must navigate a fragile and violent world. In Zimbabwe, Darling and her friends steal guavas, try to get the baby out of young Chipo's belly, and grasp at memories of Before. Before their homes were destroyed by paramilitary policemen, before the school closed, before the fathers left for dangerous jobs abroad. But Darling has a chance to escape: she has an aunt in America. She travels to this new land in search of America's famous abundance only to find that her options as an immigrant are perilously few. NoViolet Bulawayo's debut calls to mind the great storytellers of displacement and arrival who have come before her--from Junot Diaz to Zadie Smith to J.M. Coetzee--while she tells a vivid, raw story all her own.

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4.8/5

Leaving Before the Rains Come by Alexandra Fuller

New York Times Bestseller "One of the gutsiest memoirs I've ever read. And the writing--oh my god the writing." --Entertainment Weekly A child of the Rhodesian wars and daughter of two deeply complicated parents, Alexandra Fuller is no stranger to pain. But the disintegration of Fuller’s own marriage leaves her shattered. Looking to pick up the pieces of her life, she fin New York Times Bestseller "One of the gutsiest memoirs I've ever read. And the writing--oh my god the writing." --Entertainment Weekly A child of the Rhodesian wars and daughter of two deeply complicated parents, Alexandra Fuller is no stranger to pain. But the disintegration of Fuller’s own marriage leaves her shattered. Looking to pick up the pieces of her life, she finally confronts the tough questions about her past, about the American man she married, and about the family she left behind in Africa. A breathtaking achievement, Leaving Before the Rains Come is a memoir of such grace and intelligence, filled with such wit and courage, that it could only have been written by Alexandra Fuller. Leaving Before the Rains Come begins with the dreadful first years of the American financial crisis when Fuller’s delicate balance—between American pragmatism and African fatalism, the linchpin of her unorthodox marriage—irrevocably fails. Recalling her unusual courtship in Zambia—elephant attacks on the first date, sick with malaria on the wedding day—Fuller struggles to understand her younger self as she overcomes her current misfortunes. Fuller soon realizes what is missing from her life is something that was always there: the brash and uncompromising ways of her father, the man who warned his daughter that "the problem with most people is that they want to be alive for as long as possible without having any idea whatsoever how to live." Fuller’s father—"Tim Fuller of No Fixed Abode" as he first introduced himself to his future wife—was a man who regretted nothing and wanted less, even after fighting harder and losing more than most men could bear. Leaving Before the Rains Come showcases Fuller at the peak of her abilities, threading panoramic vistas with her deepest revelations as a fully grown woman and mother. Fuller reveals how, after spending a lifetime fearfully waiting for someone to show up and save her, she discovered that, in the end, we all simply have to save ourselves.An unforgettable book, Leaving Before the Rains Come is a story of sorrow grounded in the tragic grandeur and rueful joy only to be found in Fuller’s Africa.

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3.4/5

Buck: A Memoir by M.K. Asante

A rebellious boy’s journey through the wilds of urban America and the shrapnel of a self-destructing family—this is the riveting story of a generation told through one dazzlingly poetic new voice.   MK Asante was born in Zimbabwe to American parents: a mother who led the new nation’s dance company and a father who would soon become a revered pioneer in black studies. But t A rebellious boy’s journey through the wilds of urban America and the shrapnel of a self-destructing family—this is the riveting story of a generation told through one dazzlingly poetic new voice.   MK Asante was born in Zimbabwe to American parents: a mother who led the new nation’s dance company and a father who would soon become a revered pioneer in black studies. But things fell apart, and a decade later MK was in America, a teenager lost in a fog of drugs, sex, and violence on the streets of North Philadelphia. Now he was alone—his mother in a mental hospital, his father gone, his older brother locked up in a prison on the other side of the country—and forced to find his own way to survive physically, mentally, and spiritually, by any means necessary.   Buck is a powerful memoir of how a precocious kid educated himself through the most unconventional teachers—outlaws and eccentrics, rappers and mystic strangers, ghetto philosophers and strippers, and, eventually, an alternative school that transformed his life with a single blank sheet of paper. It’s a one-of-a-kind story about finding your purpose in life, and an inspiring tribute to the power of education, art, and love to heal and redeem us.

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4.1/5

Dingo Firestorm: The Greatest Battle of the Rhodesian Bush War by Ian Pringle

This book tells the story of the biggest conflict of the Rhodesian Bush War, fought in neighboring Mozambique. Code-named Operation Dingo, the battle was a huge gamble. It took place when Rhodesia was running out of money, ammunition and friends. Prime Minister Ian Smith authorized a risky two-pronged attack on ZANLA bases in Mozambique to buy time and weaken Robert Mugabe This book tells the story of the biggest conflict of the Rhodesian Bush War, fought in neighboring Mozambique. Code-named Operation Dingo, the battle was a huge gamble. It took place when Rhodesia was running out of money, ammunition and friends. Prime Minister Ian Smith authorized a risky two-pronged attack on ZANLA bases in Mozambique to buy time and weaken Robert Mugabe s negotiating position. He committed virtually the entire Rhodesian Air Force to support 184 paratroops and helicopter troops in a surprise attack on an enemy force of thousands. The attack was planned to coincide with a meeting of Mugabe and his War Council at their Chimoio HQ. Pringle describes the political and military backdrop leading up to the raid, and he tells the story of the battle through the eyes of key personalities who planned, led and participated in it. Using his own experience as a jet and helicopter pilot, he recreates the battle in detail, explaining the performance of men and machines in the unfolding drama of events. The author obtained exclusive interviews with three top Rhodesian commanders weeks before their (coincidental) deaths in 2010, including valuable insights by Lieutenant General Peter Walls, the supreme Rhodesian commander. Dingo Firestorm is a fresh, gripping recreation of a key battle in southern African military history."

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3.2/5

The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah

Memory is an albino woman languishing in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in Harare, Zimbabwe, where she has been convicted of murder. As part of her appeal, her lawyer insists that she write down what happened as she remembers it. As her story unfolds, Memory reveals that she has been tried and convicted for the murder of Lloyd Hendricks, her adopted father. But who was Memory is an albino woman languishing in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in Harare, Zimbabwe, where she has been convicted of murder. As part of her appeal, her lawyer insists that she write down what happened as she remembers it. As her story unfolds, Memory reveals that she has been tried and convicted for the murder of Lloyd Hendricks, her adopted father. But who was Lloyd Hendricks? Why does Memory feel no remorse for his death? And did everything happen exactly as she remembers? In The Book of Memory, Petina Gappah has created a uniquely slippery narrator: forthright, acerbically funny, and with a complicated relationship to the truth. Moving between the townships of the poor and the suburbs of the rich, and between the past and the present, Gappah weaves a compelling tale of love, obsession, the relentlessness of fate, and the treachery of memory.

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4.4/5

Diamond Boy by Michael Williams

A high-stakes, harrowing adventure set in the diamond fields of Southern Africa, from the critically acclaimed author of Now Is the Time for Running. "Diamonds for everyone." That's what fifteen-year-old Patson Moyo hears when his family arrives in the Marange diamond fields. Soon Patson is working in the mines himself, hoping to find his girazi--the priceless stone that cou A high-stakes, harrowing adventure set in the diamond fields of Southern Africa, from the critically acclaimed author of Now Is the Time for Running. "Diamonds for everyone." That's what fifteen-year-old Patson Moyo hears when his family arrives in the Marange diamond fields. Soon Patson is working in the mines himself, hoping to find his girazi--the priceless stone that could change his life forever. But when the government's soldiers comes to Marange, Patson's world is shattered. Set against the backdrop of President Robert Mugabe's brutal regime in Zimbabwe, Diamond Boy is the story of young man who succumbs to greed but finds his way out through a transformative journey to South Africa in search of his missing sister, in search of freedom, and in search of himself.

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3.1/5

The White Shadow by Andrea Eames

'Look after your sister, Tinashe.' Tinashe is a young Shona boy living in a small village in rural Rhodesia. The guerilla war of the late 1960s haunts the bushlands, but it only infrequently affects his quiet life; school, swimming in the river, playing with the other kids on the kopje. When his younger sister, Hazvinei, is born, Tinashe knows at once that there is something 'Look after your sister, Tinashe.' Tinashe is a young Shona boy living in a small village in rural Rhodesia. The guerilla war of the late 1960s haunts the bushlands, but it only infrequently affects his quiet life; school, swimming in the river, playing with the other kids on the kopje. When his younger sister, Hazvinei, is born, Tinashe knows at once that there is something special about her. Their life in the village, once disturbed only by the occasional visits of his successful uncle and city cousin, Abel, now becomes entangled with the dual forces of the Shona spirit world and the political turmoil of the nation. As Tinashe, Hazvinei and Abel grow older, their destinies entangle in ways they never expected. Tinashe is prepared to follow his sister anywhere - but how far can he go to keep her safe when the forces threatening her are so much darker and more sinister than he suspected? Andrea Eames weaves together folklore and suspense in this compelling tale of a boy struggling to do the right thing in an unpredictable world.

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4.5/5

104 Horses: A Memoir of Farm and Family, Africa and Exile by Mandy Retzlaff

‘A letter is handed to you. In broken English, it tells you that you must now vacate your farm; that this is no longer your home, for it now belongs to the crowd on your doorstep. Then the drums begin to beat.’ As the land invasions gather pace, the Retzlaffs begin an epic journey across Zimbabwe, facing eviction after eviction, trying to save the group of animals with whom ‘A letter is handed to you. In broken English, it tells you that you must now vacate your farm; that this is no longer your home, for it now belongs to the crowd on your doorstep. Then the drums begin to beat.’ As the land invasions gather pace, the Retzlaffs begin an epic journey across Zimbabwe, facing eviction after eviction, trying to save the group of animals with whom they feel a deep and enduring bond – the horses. When their neighbours flee to New Zealand, the Retzlaffs promise to look after their horses, and making similar promises to other farmers along their journey, not knowing whether they will be able to feed or save them, they amass an astonishing herd of over 300 animals. But the final journey to freedom will be arduous, and they can take only 104 horses. Each with a different personality and story, it is not just the family who rescue the horses, but the horses who rescue the family. Grey, the silver gelding: the leader. Brutus, the untamed colt. Princess, the temperamental mare. One Hundred and Four Horses is the story of an idyllic existence that falls apart at the seams, and a story of incredible bonds – a love of the land, the strength of a family, and of the connection between man and the most majestic of animals, the horse.

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3.2/5

The Maestro, the Magistrate and the Mathematician by Tendai Huchu

Three very different men struggle with thoughts of belonging, loss, identity and love as they attempt to find a place for themselves in Britain. The Magistrate tries to create new memories and roots, fusing a wandering exploration of Edinburgh with music. The Maestro, a depressed, quixotic character, sinks out of the real world into the fantastic world of literature. The M Three very different men struggle with thoughts of belonging, loss, identity and love as they attempt to find a place for themselves in Britain. The Magistrate tries to create new memories and roots, fusing a wandering exploration of Edinburgh with music. The Maestro, a depressed, quixotic character, sinks out of the real world into the fantastic world of literature. The Mathematician, full of youth, follows a carefree, hedonistic lifestyle, until their three universes collide.

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4.4/5

The Death of Rex Nhongo by C.B. George

In Zimbabwe's capital, a gun left in a taxi brings together five marriages in this intricate and tightly plotted novel. This is the story of five marriages and one gun. A British couple wonders at the unknowable city beyond their guarded compound while they build walls between themselves. An American suspects his new home is having an insidious effect on his 'African queen' a In Zimbabwe's capital, a gun left in a taxi brings together five marriages in this intricate and tightly plotted novel. This is the story of five marriages and one gun. A British couple wonders at the unknowable city beyond their guarded compound while they build walls between themselves. An American suspects his new home is having an insidious effect on his 'African queen' and their young daughter. An enthusiastic young intellectual follows his wife to the city and finds only disillusion. An Intelligence Officer loses a crucial piece of evidence. It will cost him his marriage, his girlfriend, and maybe his life. An impoverished taxi driver and his wife find a gun in the cab. From this point on, all their lives are tied to the trigger. In this tender and brutal portrait of Zimbabwe, the betrayals and conspiracies of the corrupt world are nothing compared to those of marriage.

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4.8/5

Tony Wheeler's Dark Lands by Tony Wheeler

Greedy Lords, dubious heroes, wicked relations and innocents in peril - today's world sounds like a grim fairytale! Travelling along the infamous 'Axis of Evil' led to Tony Wheeler's Bad Lands - now he's going deeper into the world's darkest corners to explore a rogue's gallery of troubled nations. Every country has its problems, but some problems seem so vexed, so intractab Greedy Lords, dubious heroes, wicked relations and innocents in peril - today's world sounds like a grim fairytale! Travelling along the infamous 'Axis of Evil' led to Tony Wheeler's Bad Lands - now he's going deeper into the world's darkest corners to explore a rogue's gallery of troubled nations. Every country has its problems, but some problems seem so vexed, so intractable, so absurd, you can only shake your head. Tony Wheeler trains his well-travelled eyes on some of these places and attempts to understand how things got so messed up. Along the way he gets stoned (with the thrown variety) in Palestine, scores a speeding ticket in Zimbabwe, gets arrested for photographing a bar in the Congo, and visits Osama bin Laden's Abbottabad in Pakistan. Join Tony and find out if there's a happily-ever-after in these tales from the dark side.

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4.2/5

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

An exciting literary debut: the unflinching and powerful story of a young girl's journey out of Zimbabwe and to America. Darling is only ten years old, and yet she must navigate a fragile and violent world. In Zimbabwe, Darling and her friends steal guavas, try to get the baby out of young Chipo's belly, and grasp at memories of Before. Before their homes were destroyed by An exciting literary debut: the unflinching and powerful story of a young girl's journey out of Zimbabwe and to America. Darling is only ten years old, and yet she must navigate a fragile and violent world. In Zimbabwe, Darling and her friends steal guavas, try to get the baby out of young Chipo's belly, and grasp at memories of Before. Before their homes were destroyed by paramilitary policemen, before the school closed, before the fathers left for dangerous jobs abroad. But Darling has a chance to escape: she has an aunt in America. She travels to this new land in search of America's famous abundance only to find that her options as an immigrant are perilously few. NoViolet Bulawayo's debut calls to mind the great storytellers of displacement and arrival who have come before her--from Junot Diaz to Zadie Smith to J.M. Coetzee--while she tells a vivid, raw story all her own.

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4/5

Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga

A modern classic in the African literary canon and voted in the Top Ten Africa's 100 Best Books of the 20th Century, this novel brings to the politics of decolonization theory the energy of women's rights. An extraordinarily well-crafted work, this book is a work of vision. Through its deft negotiation of race, class, gender and cultural change, it dramatizes the 'nervousn A modern classic in the African literary canon and voted in the Top Ten Africa's 100 Best Books of the 20th Century, this novel brings to the politics of decolonization theory the energy of women's rights. An extraordinarily well-crafted work, this book is a work of vision. Through its deft negotiation of race, class, gender and cultural change, it dramatizes the 'nervousness' of the 'postcolonial' conditions that bedevil us still. In Tambu and the women of her family, we African women see ourselves, whether at home or displaced, doing daily battle with our changing world with a mixture of tenacity, bewilderment and grace.

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4.2/5

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood by Alexandra Fuller

In Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller remembers her African childhood with candor and sensitivity. Though it is a diary of an unruly life in an often inhospitable place, it is suffused with Fuller’s endearing ability to find laughter, even when there is little to celebrate. Fuller’s debut is unsentimental and unflinching but always captivating. In wry and In Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller remembers her African childhood with candor and sensitivity. Though it is a diary of an unruly life in an often inhospitable place, it is suffused with Fuller’s endearing ability to find laughter, even when there is little to celebrate. Fuller’s debut is unsentimental and unflinching but always captivating. In wry and sometimes hilarious prose, she stares down disaster and looks back with rage and love at the life of an extraordinary family in an extraordinary time.

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3.7/5

When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa by Peter Godwin

After his father's heart attack in 1984, Peter Godwin began a series of pilgrimages back to Zimbabwe, the land of his birth, from Manhattan, where he now lives. On these frequent visits to check on his elderly parents, he bore witness to Zimbabwe's dramatic spiral downwards into thejaws of violent chaos, presided over by an increasingly enraged dictator. And yet long after After his father's heart attack in 1984, Peter Godwin began a series of pilgrimages back to Zimbabwe, the land of his birth, from Manhattan, where he now lives. On these frequent visits to check on his elderly parents, he bore witness to Zimbabwe's dramatic spiral downwards into thejaws of violent chaos, presided over by an increasingly enraged dictator. And yet long after their comfortable lifestyle had been shattered and millions were fleeing, his parents refuse to leave, steadfast in their allegiance to the failed state that has been their adopted home for 50 years.Then Godwin discovered a shocking family secret that helped explain their loyalty. Africa was his father's sanctuary from another identity, another world.WHEN A CROCODILE EATS THE SUN is a stirring memoir of the disintegration of a family set against the collapse of a country. But it is also a vivid portrait of the profound strength of the human spirit and the enduring power of love.

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3.9/5

Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller

In this sequel to Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller returns to Africa and the story of her unforgettable family. In Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, Alexandra Fuller braids a multilayered narrative around the perfectly lit, Happy Valley-era Africa of her mother's childhood; the boiled cabbage grimness of her father's English childhood; and In this sequel to Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller returns to Africa and the story of her unforgettable family. In Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, Alexandra Fuller braids a multilayered narrative around the perfectly lit, Happy Valley-era Africa of her mother's childhood; the boiled cabbage grimness of her father's English childhood; and the darker, civil war-torn Africa of her own childhood. At its heart, this is the story of Fuller's mother, Nicola. Born on the Scottish Isle of Skye and raised in Kenya, Nicola holds dear the kinds of values most likely to get you hurt or killed in Africa: loyalty to blood, passion for land, and a holy belief in the restorative power of all animals. Fuller interviewed her mother at length and has captured her inimitable voice with remarkable precision. Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is as funny, terrifying, exotic, and unselfconscious as Nicola herself. We see Nicola and Tim Fuller in their lavender-colored honeymoon period, when East Africa lies before them with all the promise of its liquid equatorial light, even as the British Empire in which they both believe wanes. But in short order, an accumulation of mishaps and tragedies bump up against history until the couple finds themselves in a world they hardly recognize. We follow the Fullers as they hopscotch the continent, running from war and unspeakable heartbreak, from Kenya to Rhodesia to Zambia, even returning to England briefly. But just when it seems that Nicola has been broken entirely by Africa, it is the African earth itself that revives her. A story of survival and madness, love and war, loyalty and forgiveness, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is an intimate exploration of the author's family. In the end, we find Nicola and Tim at a coffee table under their Tree of Forgetfulness on the banana and fish farm where they plan to spend their final days. In local custom, the Tree of Forgetfulness is where villagers meet to resolve disputes and it is here that the Fullers at last find an African kind of peace. Following the ghosts and dreams of memory, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is Alexandra Fuller at her very best.

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4.8/5

The Hairdresser of Harare by Tendai Huchu

In this delicious and devastating first novel, which The Guardian named one of its ten best contemporary African books, Caine Prize finalist Tendai Huchu (The Maestro, the Magistrate, and the Mathematician) portrays the heart of contemporary Zimbabwean society with humor and grace. Vimbai is the best hairdresser in Mrs. Khumalo’s salon, and she is secure in her status until In this delicious and devastating first novel, which The Guardian named one of its ten best contemporary African books, Caine Prize finalist Tendai Huchu (The Maestro, the Magistrate, and the Mathematician) portrays the heart of contemporary Zimbabwean society with humor and grace. Vimbai is the best hairdresser in Mrs. Khumalo’s salon, and she is secure in her status until the handsome, smooth-talking Dumisani shows up one day for work. Despite her resistance, the two become friends, and eventually, Vimbai becomes Dumisani’s landlady. He is as charming as he is deft with the scissors, and Vimbai finds that he means more and more to her. Yet, by novel’s end, the pair’s deepening friendship—used or embraced by Dumisani and Vimbai with different futures in mind—collapses in unexpected brutality. The novel is an acute portrayal of a rapidly changing Zimbabwe. In addition to Vimbai and Dumisani’s personal development, the book shows us how social concerns shape the lives of everyday people.

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3.5/5

The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe by Peter Godwin

Journalist Peter Godwin has covered wars. As a soldier, he's fought them. But nothing prepared him for the surreal mix of desperation and hope he encountered when he returned to Zimbabwe, his broken homeland. Godwin arrived as Robert Mugabe, the country's dictator for 30 years, has finally lost an election. Mugabe's tenure has left Zimbabwe with the world's highest rate of Journalist Peter Godwin has covered wars. As a soldier, he's fought them. But nothing prepared him for the surreal mix of desperation and hope he encountered when he returned to Zimbabwe, his broken homeland. Godwin arrived as Robert Mugabe, the country's dictator for 30 years, has finally lost an election. Mugabe's tenure has left Zimbabwe with the world's highest rate of inflation and the shortest life span. Instead of conceding power, Mugabe launched a brutal campaign of terror against his own citizens. With foreign correspondents banned, and he himself there illegally, Godwin was one of the few observers to bear witness to this period the locals call The Fear. He saw torture bases and the burning villages but was most awed as an observer of not only simple acts of kindness but also churchmen and diplomats putting their own lives on the line to try to stop the carnage. THE FEAR is a book about the astonishing courage and resilience of a people, armed with nothing but a desire to be free, who challenged a violent dictatorship. It is also the deeply personal and ultimately uplifting story of a man trying to make sense of the country he can't recognize as home.

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4/5

Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa by Peter Godwin

The Barnes & Noble Review January 1998 Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa is the story of Peter Godwin's experiences growing up in Rhodesia. He recounts the story of that country's violent transformation into Zimbabwe, as well as his own personal metamorphoses from privileged boy to reluctant soldier to investigative journalist. Godwin's story begins, "I think I first realize The Barnes & Noble Review January 1998 Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa is the story of Peter Godwin's experiences growing up in Rhodesia. He recounts the story of that country's violent transformation into Zimbabwe, as well as his own personal metamorphoses from privileged boy to reluctant soldier to investigative journalist. Godwin's story begins, "I think I first realized something was wrong when our next door neighbor, Oom Piet Oberholzer, was murdered. I must have been about five then. It was still five years before the real war would start." The Godwins enjoyed a typical genteel existence in 1960 rural Rhodesia, their household including a "garden boy," a "cook boy," and a nanny. Peter's father managed a wood- and sugarcane-processing plant. His mother, a rural government doctor, was often called to pronounce deaths or conduct autopsies, for which she brought along her "assistant," five-year-old Peter, who was responsible for shooing away the flies. Godwin's plans for attending college were squashed when he was drafted into the Rhodesian army and assigned to the "Anti-Terrorist Unit," which proved to be an important experience in his life. When he later looked at himself, he saw a man "coursed through with anger and despair. It was the face of someone who would kill an unarmed civilian for withholding information." Disturbed by what he had become, Godwin left Rhodesia after he got out of the army, only to return in 1981 as a journalist. Rhodesia was now Zimbabwe, and the "terrorists" he had reluctantly fought against were now the country's rulers. Godwin reported on theutterbrutalities in Zimbabwe and the fate of Matabeleland, a black minority region in Zimbabwe. He described the army style of interrogation, in which "before they even began to question you, they would break one wrist," and wrote about the old mines where bodies of the dead were buried. When Godwin's writings received worldwide attention, the Zimbabwean government tried to discredit him, and he received numerous death threats, escaping the country just hours before the police came looking for him. Mukiwa is not only a memoir but also a compelling adventure story that tells a personal saga that needs to be heard.

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4.9/5

The Last Resort: A Memoir of Zimbabwe by Douglas Rogers

Thrilling, heartbreaking, and, at times, absurdly funny, The Last Resort is a remarkable true story about one family in a country under siege and a testament to the love, perseverance, and resilience of the human spirit. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Douglas Rogers is the son of white farmers living through that country’s long and tense transition from postcolonial rule. He Thrilling, heartbreaking, and, at times, absurdly funny, The Last Resort is a remarkable true story about one family in a country under siege and a testament to the love, perseverance, and resilience of the human spirit. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Douglas Rogers is the son of white farmers living through that country’s long and tense transition from postcolonial rule. He escaped the dull future mapped out for him by his parents for one of adventure and excitement in Europe and the United States. But when Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe launched his violent program to reclaim white-owned land and Rogers’s parents were caught in the cross fire, everything changed. Lyn and Ros, the owners of Drifters–a famous game farm and backpacker lodge in the eastern mountains that was one of the most popular budget resorts in the country–found their home and resort under siege, their friends and neighbors expelled, and their lives in danger. But instead of leaving, as their son pleads with them to do, they haul out a shotgun and decide to stay. On returning to the country of his birth, Rogers finds his once orderly and progressive home transformed into something resembling a Marx Brothers romp crossed with Heart of Darkness: pot has supplanted maize in the fields; hookers have replaced college kids as guests; and soldiers, spies, and teenage diamond dealers guzzle beer at the bar. And yet, in spite of it all, Rogers’s parents–with the help of friends, farmworkers, lodge guests, and residents–among them black political dissidents and white refugee farmers–continue to hold on. But can they survive to the end? In the midst of a nation stuck between its stubborn past and an impatient future, Rogers soon begins to see his parents in a new light: unbowed, with passions and purpose renewed, even heroic. And, in the process, he learns that the "big story" he had relentlessly pursued his entire adult life as a roving journalist and travel writer was actually happening in his own backyard.

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4.1/5

The Boy Next Door by Irene Sabatini

Winner of the 2010 Orange Prize for New Writers "Immediately engaging, vivid and buzzing with energy, The Boy Next Door is the work of a true storyteller... At heart a love story, it is also so much more as, through the experiences of its charismatic protagonists, it charts the first two decades of the emerging Zimbabwe with honesty, humour and humanity... Irene Sabatini ha Winner of the 2010 Orange Prize for New Writers "Immediately engaging, vivid and buzzing with energy, The Boy Next Door is the work of a true storyteller... At heart a love story, it is also so much more as, through the experiences of its charismatic protagonists, it charts the first two decades of the emerging Zimbabwe with honesty, humour and humanity... Irene Sabatini has written an important book that will enchant readers and which marks the emergence of a serious new talent.” Di Spiers, Editor of Readings at BBC Radio 4, Orange Award for New Writers Chair of Judges Synopsis: In Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, there is a tragedy in the house next door to Lindiwe Bishop; her neighbor has been burned alive. The victim's stepson, Ian McKenzie, is the prime suspect but is soon released. Lindiwe can't hide her fascination with this young, boisterous and mysterious white man, and they soon forge an unlikely closeness even as the country starts to deteriorate. Years after circumstances split them apart, Ian returns to a much-changed Zimbabwe to see Lindiwe, now a sophisticated, impassioned young woman, and discovers a devastating secret that will alter both of their futures, and draw them closer together even as the world seems bent on keeping them apart. The Boy Next Door is a moving and powerful debut about two people finding themselves and each other in a time of national upheaval.

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4.8/5

Butterfly Burning by Yvonne Vera

Butterfly Burning brings the brilliantly poetic voice of Zimbabwean writer Yvonne Vera to American readers for the first time. Set in Makokoba, a black township, in the late 1940s, the novel is an intensely bittersweet love story. When Fumbatha, a construction worker, meets the much younger Phephelaphi, he"wants her like the land beneath his feet from which birth had sever Butterfly Burning brings the brilliantly poetic voice of Zimbabwean writer Yvonne Vera to American readers for the first time. Set in Makokoba, a black township, in the late 1940s, the novel is an intensely bittersweet love story. When Fumbatha, a construction worker, meets the much younger Phephelaphi, he"wants her like the land beneath his feet from which birth had severed him." He in turn fills her "with hope larger than memory." But Phephelaphi is not satisfied with their "one-room" love alone. The qualities that drew Fumbatha to her, her sense of independence and freedom, end up separating them. And the closely woven fabric of township life, where everyone knows everyone else, has a mesh too tight and too intricate to allow her to escape her circumstances on her own. Vera exploits language to peel away the skin of public and private lives. In Butterfly Burning she captures the ebullience and the bitterness of township life, as well as the strength and courage of her unforgettable heroine.

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4.4/5

Rainbow's End: A Memoir of Childhood, War and an African Farm by Lauren St. John

This is a story about a paradise lost. . . . About an African dream that began with a murder . . .In 1978, in the final, bloodiest phase of the Rhodesian civil war, eleven-year-old Lauren St John moves with her family to Rainbow's End, a wild, beautiful farm and game reserve set on the banks of a slowflowing river. The house has been the scene of a horrific attack by guerr This is a story about a paradise lost. . . . About an African dream that began with a murder . . .In 1978, in the final, bloodiest phase of the Rhodesian civil war, eleven-year-old Lauren St John moves with her family to Rainbow's End, a wild, beautiful farm and game reserve set on the banks of a slowflowing river. The house has been the scene of a horrific attack by guerrillas, and when Lauren's family settles there, a chain of events is set in motion that will change her life irrevocably. "Rainbow's End" captures the overwhelming beauty and extraordinary danger of life in the African bush. Lauren's childhood reads like a girl's own adventure story. At the height of the war, Lauren rides through the wilderness on her horse, Morning Star, encountering lions, crocodiles, snakes, vicious ostriches, and mad cows. Many of the animals are pets, including Miss Piggy and Bacon and an elegant giraffe named Jenny. The constant threat of ruthless guerrillas prowling the land underscores everything, making each day more dangerous, vivid, and prized than the last. After Independence, Lauren comes to the bitter realization that she'd been on the wrong side of the civil war. While she and her family believed that they were fighting for democracy over Communism, others saw the war as black against white. And when Robert Mugabe comes into power, he oversees the torture and persecution of thousands of members of an opposing tribe and goes on to become one of Africa's legendary dictators. The ending of this beautiful memoir is a fist to the stomach as Lauren realizes that she can be British or American, but she cannot be African. She can love it -- be willing to die for it -- but she cannot claimAfrica because she is white.

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3.5/5

The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing

Set in South Africa under white rule, Doris Lessing's first novel is both a riveting chronicle of human disintegration and a beautifully understated social critique. Mary Turner is a self-confident, independent young woman who becomes the depressed, frustrated wife of an ineffectual, unsuccessful farmer. Little by little the ennui of years on the farm work their slow poiso Set in South Africa under white rule, Doris Lessing's first novel is both a riveting chronicle of human disintegration and a beautifully understated social critique. Mary Turner is a self-confident, independent young woman who becomes the depressed, frustrated wife of an ineffectual, unsuccessful farmer. Little by little the ennui of years on the farm work their slow poison, and Mary's despair progresses until the fateful arrival of an enigmatic and virile black servant, Moses. Locked in anguish, Mary and Moses -- master and slave -- are trapped in a web of mounting attraction and repulsion. Their psychic tension explodes in an electrifying scene that ends this disturbing tale of racial strife in colonial South Africa. The Grass Is Singing blends Lessing's imaginative vision with her own vividly remembered early childhood to recreate the quiet horror of a woman's struggle against a ruthless fate.

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4.4/5

Zenzele: A Letter for My Daughter by J. Nozipo Maraire

Written as a letter from a Zimbabwean mother to her daughter, a student at Harvard, J. Nozipo Maraire evokes the moving story of a mother reaching out to her daughter to share the lessons life has taught her and bring the two closer than ever before. Interweaving history and memories, disappointments and dreams, Zenzele tells the tales of Zimbabwe's struggle for independen Written as a letter from a Zimbabwean mother to her daughter, a student at Harvard, J. Nozipo Maraire evokes the moving story of a mother reaching out to her daughter to share the lessons life has taught her and bring the two closer than ever before. Interweaving history and memories, disappointments and dreams, Zenzele tells the tales of Zimbabwe's struggle for independence and the men and women who shaped it: Zenzele's father, an outspoken activist lawyer; her aunt, a schoolteacher by day and secret guerrilla fighter by night; and her cousin, a maid and a spy. Rich with insight, history, and philosophy, Zenzele is a powerful and compelling story that is both revolutionary and revelatory--the story of one life that poignantly speaks of all lives.

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3.7/5

Love in the Driest Season: A Family Memoir by Neely Tucker

Against a background of war, terrorism, disease and unbearable uncertainty about the future, this story of how a foreign correspondent and his wife fought to adopt a Zimbabwean baby emerges as an inspiring testament to the miracles that love and dogged determination can sometimes achieve. Don't miss this gripping memoir. Foreign correspondent Neely Tucker and his wife, Vita Against a background of war, terrorism, disease and unbearable uncertainty about the future, this story of how a foreign correspondent and his wife fought to adopt a Zimbabwean baby emerges as an inspiring testament to the miracles that love and dogged determination can sometimes achieve. Don't miss this gripping memoir. Foreign correspondent Neely Tucker and his wife, Vita, arrived in Zimbabwe in 1997. After witnessing firsthand the devastating consequences of AIDS on the population, especially the children, the couple started volunteering at an orphanage that was desperately underfunded and short-staffed. One afternoon, a critically ill infant was brought to the orphanage from a village outside the city. She’d been left to die in a field on the day she was born, abandoned in the tall brown grass that covers the highlands of Zimbabwe in the dry season. After a near-death hospital stay, and under strict doctor’s orders, the ailing child was entrusted to the care of Tucker and Vita. Within weeks Chipo, the girl-child whose name means gift, would come to mean everything to them. Still an active correspondent, Tucker crisscrossed the continent, filing stories about the uprisings in the Congo, the civil war in Sierra Leone, and the postgenocidal conflict in Rwanda. He witnessed heartbreaking scenes of devastation and violence, steeling him further to take a personal role in helping anywhere he could. At home in Harare, Vita was nursing Chipo back to health. Soon she and Tucker decided to alter their lives forever—they would adopt Chipo. That decision challenged an unspoken social norm—that foreigners should never adopt Zimbabwean children. Raised in rural Mississippi in the sixties and seventies, Tucker was familiar with the mores associated with and dictated by race. His wife, a savvy black woman whose father escaped the Jim Crow South for a new life in the industrial North, would not be deterred in her resolve to welcome Chipo into their loving family. As if their situation wasn’t tenuous enough, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was stirring up national fervor against foreigners, especially journalists, abroad and at home. At its peak, his antagonizing branded all foreign journalists personae non grata. For Tucker, the only full-time American correspondent in Zimbabwe, the declaration was a direct threat to his life and his wife’s safety, and an ultimatum to their decision to adopt the child who had already become their only daughter. Against a background of war, terrorism, disease, and unbearable uncertainty about the future, Chipo’s story emerges as an inspiring testament to the miracles that love—and dogged determination—can sometimes achieve. Gripping, heartbreaking, and triumphant, this family memoir will resonate throughout the ages.

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