Bones

Chenjerai Hove, Author, Paula Cox, Author, Paula Cox, Illustrator
Chenjerai Hove, Author, Paula Cox, Author, Paula Cox, Illustrator Heinemann Educational Books $7.95 (113p) ISBN 978-0-435-90576-7
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
In his brief first novel about his native Zimbabwe, poet Hove presents a wrenching portrait of a people and a country in pain. Marita, whose only child has run away from home to become a terrorist, is devastated by her loss. Abandoning her embittered, ineffectual husband and her work in the fields of an abusive white farmer, she goes to the city to find news of her son, but the journey ends in her death at government hands. To pay for her trip, Marita had persuaded Chisaga, the farmer's cook, to steal money from his employer in return for sexual favors--never intending to keep the bargain. Chisaga, in turn, brutally rapes the young woman, Janifa, who would have been her son's bride, seeing Janifa as Marita's heir because she was given Marita's kitchen utensils (``the things of her womanhood''). Janifa then finds her own freedom in insanity. The unusual, elliptical voices of the characters reflect both Hove's poetic gifts and his attempt to convey a feeling of the native culture and language. ( May )
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