Booker Shortlist 2020: This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga
Is this the one?
Officially: In this tense and psychologically charged novel, Tsitsi Dangarembga channels the hope and potential of one young girl and a fledgling nation to lead us on a journey to discover where lives go after hope has departed.
Here we meet Tambudzai, living in a run-down youth hostel in downtown Harare and anxious about her prospects after leaving a stagnant job. At every turn in her attempt to make a life for herself, she is faced with a fresh humiliation, until the painful contrast between the future she imagined and her daily reality ultimately drives her to a breaking point.
Book Worm’s Thoughts: Depressing yes shall we put it on the shortlist yes.
Why this could win: It addresses important issues about the discrimination faced by women in Zimbabwe. It is written in the 2nd person which is an unusual narrative style to choose.
Why it might not win: Final part of a trilogy.
Anita’s Thoughts: A book with great ideas, themes and setting, poorly executed.
Why this could win: This author really knows what to do with second person narration. It’s a show of skill that is a step above the norm.
Why it might not win: Zzzzzzzzz . . . seriously, this book was boring until the last 20%.
Nicole’s Thoughts: This is another book I made a valiant attempt at, but dear god it was a slog.
Why this could win: Topical, diverse.
Why it might not win: Does it work as a standalone? (see also: slog)
Tracy’s Thoughts: This author has some serious skill. Though the book wasn’t as enjoyable as some of the others, it is a Booker book. The second person narration was unique and the narrator generated some serious sympathy. I would be okay with this one winning.