Laura Gallagher

Trouble in Zimbabwe

The Book of Memory

By

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The Death of Rex Nhongo

By

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The slender period these two novels cover is that part of Zimbabwean history most known to the Western world: what Petina Gappah calls ‘the invasions’ of white-owned farms. C B George’s titular Rex Nhongo (the nom de guerre of General Solomon Mujuru) was murdered on his ‘reformed’ farm, while the death of Gappah’s character Lloyd (of whose murder Gappah’s protagonist, Memory, is convicted) coincided with the repossessions. It is to the authors’ credit, however, that neither actually dramatises that episode or names Mugabe, who is only ever referred to as ‘the President’.

The Book of Memory is Gappah’s first published novel but it is not a debut work of fiction:

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