Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wealth of Ideas blog discusses This September Sun and Dancing with Life

"I just finished and am ready to review Bryony Rheam's "This September Sun" and Chris Mlalazi's "Dancing with Life". Mine are more like reflections and comments about what I liked, what I call key moments. These are usually the parts of the stories that I found intriguing, or ones that caught my attention for one thing or another. For instance, while reading "This September Sun", I noted up to 35 places I wanted to revisit and say something about. I find this focus on key moments better than an evaluative review. The more I write my own work, the harder it becomes for me to take mere reviewing much goes into writing that critics tend to take for granted; so I am slowly drifting towards friendly reviews, and beyond that, I will end up just stating what I liked and, perhaps, disliked...

Rheam and Mlalazi's books were published by amaBooks (Bulawayo), one of the publishing initiatives that have kept Zimbabwean literature alive in difficult times. Reading the new stories from Zimbabwe, stories about events I didn't witness, a life I didn't live, but the pain of which I felt, because it affected those close to me, I always find them fascinating, very enlightening, and I read with a sense of gratitude, for the courage of the writers, for the hard work of both the authors and the publishers. There is a freshness in the stories which helps keep me believing that the Zimbabwean experience is a rich resource for literature, a context unique enough to illuminate readers on important aspects of the human experience. "

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