Monday, July 20, 2009

Extract of an interview with Memory Chirere

An extract of an interview of Memory Chirere by Emmanuel Sigauke, from

You have published two collections of short stories, and you have  also published poetry. What are you working on currently? In the past  you have argued that Southern Africa's area of expertise is the short  story. Do you still believe so, and can you clarify this position?

Currently, I am reading what others have just published. I want to go like that  for a stretch. I am reading Petina Gappah’s An Elegy for Easterly. I think she  is wonderful. Her descriptions of childhood reminds me of Shimmer Chinodya. Her very honest oral touch reminds me of Chenjerai Hove, especially  Ancestors and her story about a mad law student has Vera’s intensity. My  comment should not make Petina cry! I have just read Long Time Coming and I think that you have in there the immensely fresh and talented writers like  Judy Maposa, Sandisile Tshuma, Linda Msebele and Thabisani Ndlovu who  leave you wondering, even crying: where have these gems been hibernating  all along? Very soon I will be reading Harare North by Brian Chikwava. I have  also just read Wonder Guchu’s new short story book, ‘My Children, My Home’. I do not know why he does not do many copies of it. It is very simply written  that you realise it was not easy to write. The kind of feeling you have when  you look into a tank of very clear waters that you see to the bottom. I still  believe that Zimbabwe is a short country.

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