The house of hunger: a novella & short stories

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Pantheon Books, 1978 - Fiction - 167 pages
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This volume features startling stories of distinction by a remarkable writer who vividly describes the township squalor of growing up in settler-exploited Rhodesia.

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A truly disturbing read, in that it stared itself in the mirror and honestly judged its own reflection, unflinchingly. At times the morose state of the writer was too much for me, but that is of course to be expected when dealing with such an explosive topic such as the state of Rhodesia post liberation. Yes, it was a hard read, but honesty is usually cumbersome and unnerving. I found myself having so much empathy for every character, slaves to their own misfortune as it may be. I recommend this to anyone who can 'Handle the Truth'.  


House of Hunger
Burning in the Rain
The Transformation of Harry

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About the author (1978)

The writings of this precocious but short-lived literary talent from Zimbabwe have been described as "the work of a tortured genius." His work reflects a passionate concern for Zimbabwe and Africa in general, and brilliantly combines elements of realism and fantasy. His writing is very introspective, with a keen interest in exploring the inner workings of his protagonists. He does not romanticize the African past nor glorify the African personality. Yet, while his work does not seem preoccupied with inequities in African society, it does display a deep disillusionment and cynicism. An element of resignation reveals, on closer examination, an attempt to hide the sensitivity of his characters, whose behavior can be seen as a defense mechanism against the chaos, senselessness, and brutality of life. Marechera's first published work, "The House of Hunger" (1979), received the 1979 Guardian Prize for Fiction, while his posthumously published collection of writings, "The Black Insider and Other Fragments," was selected for honorable mention by the 1991 Noma Award Committee. In addition to "The House of Hunger," Marechera also published "Black Sunlight" before his untimely death in 1987.

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