Monday, November 27, 2017

'Together' one of 'The Best Books of the Mugabe Years'

Together: Stories and Poems by Julius Chingono and John Eppel has been chosen by Sarah Ladipo Manyika for her list of the ten best books of the Mugabe years.

She comments: 'In some ways, the two authors featured in this collection could not be more different: Chingono, now deceased, was a black Zimbabwean who worked as a rock blaster in the mines, whereas Eppel is a white Zimbabwean who taught English literature. Both, however, were born in the 1940s and lived through every decade of the Mugabe era. In their works of fiction and poetry, one sees their shared love of language, a deep concern for the poor and, in spite of hardships, a great sense of humor. Together, Zimbabwean.'

Together has had many excellent reviews, including from Liesl Jobson of Fine Music Radio:

'‘Together’ is perhaps the most remarkable book I’ve read in the last year, lending credence to the certainty that stories insist on being told, especially those stories that the authorities deny... It will shake you to your core, exploring as it does the travesties of justice done to the authors’ fellow countrymen and women under the rule of Robert Mugabe.' 

from Philo Ikonye on Pambazuka:
'Many women – as Eppel shows so clearly – and men too, have had the worst that could have ever happened to them, and so it is time to acknowledge and congratulate those who would still write and act without fear. Eppel and Chingono deserve every attention.'
from Hazel Barnes in The Witness:

'The stories and poems in this ­brilliant volume will hit you in the gut with horror even as you relish their intelligent analysis and ­cogent wit.'
from the Mid-West Book Review:

'two writers in Zimbabwe who come together to share different world perspectives, united in their disgust at the abuse of power for greed and hopes for their people. A fine assortment of fiction and poetry, highly recommended.'

Sarah Ladipo Manyika's list can be found at

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