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August 2015

Black Sunlight Dambudzi Marechera

Black Sunlight

by Dambudzo Marechera

“I really tried to put terrorism into a historical perspective, neither applauding their acts nor condemning them. The photographer does not take sides; he just takes the press photographs.” In an unspecified setting the stream-of-consciousness narrative of this cult novel traces the fortunes of a group of anarchists in revolt against a military-fascist-capitalist opposition. The protagonist is photojournalist Chris, whose camera lens becomes the device through which the plot is cleverly unraveled. In Dambudzo Marechera’s second experimental novel, he parodies African nationalist and racial identifications as part of an argument that notions of an ‘essential African identity’ were often invoked to authorize a number of totalitarian regimes across Africa. Such irreverent, avant-garde literature was criticized upon publication in Zimbabwe in 1980, and Black Sunlight was banned on charges of ‘Euromodernism’ and as a challenge to the concept of nation-building in the newly independent country.

 

writing lives novel

Writing Lives,

A collection of short stories, featuring Lawrence HobaTendai Huchu, Tendai Machingaidze, Nevanji Madanhire, Daniel Mandishona, Christopher MlalaziBlessing Musariri, Chiedza Musengezi, Sekai Nzenza, Fungisayi Sasa and Emmanuel Sigauke. Writing Lives is the seventh of Weaver’s anthologies of short stories following Writing StillWriting NowLaughing NowWomen Writing ZimbabweMazambuko and Writing Free. As with the other anthologies, this vibrant collection reflects the lives and experiences of Zimbabweans as filtered through the lens of each author’s perceptions.

Writing Lives gives us stories that will make us laugh and bring tears to our eyes as it provides a focus on the past, the present and even the future.

About the Editor

Irene Staunton

Irene Staunton began work in publishing in London in the 1970s. Returning to Zimbabwe after its independence, she became the editor at the government’s new Curriculum Development Unit. In 1987, she co-established Baobab Books, which rapidly acquired a reputation as an exciting literary publisher. In 1999, she left Baobab to co-found Weaver Press. She was also the editor of the Heinemann African Writers Series for several years. Staunton has also researched and compiled a number of oral histories including Mothers of the Revolution.