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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.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. I hope this encourages the author to seriously consider writing, now that her talent has been more widely and recently recognised. I loved the first book in the trilogy and the overall project of the three books, I hope she can dedicate time now to a new story. I do think it would be great if she won.

    Liked by 1 person

    November 13, 2020

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