A-level Titles 2016
FORTHCOMING: Far From Home by Na’ima B. Robert
Katie and Tariro are worlds apart but their lives are linked by a terrible secret, gradually revealed in this compelling and dramatic story of two girls grappling with the complexities of adolescence, family and a painful colonial legacy.
Atmospheric, gripping and epic in scope, Far from Home brings the turbulent history of Zimbabwe to vivid, tangible life.
The Uncertainty of Hope – Valerie Tagwira, Paper 2 – J2020
The Uncertainty of Hope aptly captures how precarious the future is for the inhabitants of Mbare, Zimbabwe in 2005. Through the rich and complex lives of Onai Moyo – a market woman and responsible mother of three children – and her best friend Katy Nguni – a vendor and black-market currency dealer – we are given an insight into the challenges that face those who only survive by their wits, their labour and their mutual support.
In Dependence – Sarah Manyika, Paper 4 – J2020
In Dependence can be described as a love story. But it is more than that. It traces the trajectory of Nigeria’s political history; the military coups, the bad and treacherous leadership, and its renewed tentative steps towards democracy. It speaks to the demise (in the 1980s) of Nigeria’s international reputation and the country’s rapidly destabilizing reality. It looks at the poor whose situation never improved but actually worsened. Using events in Tayo’s life, it describes the effects of misrule on the country’s universities and the ensuing massive brain drain that Africa experienced in the 1980s. Sarah Manyika achieves all this with a voice and an outlook that is truly authentic and objective. The author captures the mood and feel of different decades and the three continents (Africa, Europe and America) that serve as settings for the story. Its scope is vast and sweeping.
Strife – Shimmer Chinodya, Paper 5 – J2020
A rich, densely written novel, Strife examines one family’s responses to destiny. Tracing the Gwanagara’s roots back over a century, Chinodya interweaves past and the present, juxtaposing incidents never forgotten or resolved, revealing how memory becomes an actor in lived time.
Strife is a novel that has to be read by anyone seeking a deeper understanding of Zimbabwean culture in the twenty-first century.
In the Continuum & other Plays – Rory Kilalea (ed.), Paper 3 – J2016
Theatre and drama are very much part of our every day lives. These four plays: Belonging by Mirirai Moyo, When I Meet my Mother by Kathleen McCreery, In the Continuum by Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter, and Power Failure by Jide Afoylan reveal the dynamism and variety of theatre. They also reveal that from Zimbabwe to Brazil, Nigeria to the USA, societies despite their diversity share many common problems and challenges. Annotated for schools with questions and notes by Rory Kilalea, teachers and students will find this a richly accessible text.
Writing Still – Irene Staunton (ed.), Paper 2 – J2016
'These stories by established and new Zimbabwean writers provide ‘a truly colourful social, historical and geographical mosaic which confirms yet again the paradoxical truth that troubled societies produce some of the most interesting writing available.'
- Annie Gagiano, LitNet, South Africa
A Tragedy of Lives – Chiedza Musengezi & Irene Staunton (eds), Paper 4 – J2016
This powerful book is based on interviews with (former) female prisoners that were conducted by Zimbabwean women writers. The stories that are told are revelatory. Women who find themselves in prison were often driven by circumstances into a situation where the emotional or material poverty of their lives makes breaking the law appear the only option.
'The contributions in this book raise some very important issues regarding women, criminal law and punishment régimes and should become essential reading for law reformers, legal experts, social workers and prison officials as well as anyone interested in the lives of others.' – The Women’s Law Centre, Zimbabwe.