An Elegy for Easterly by Petina Gappah is an unforgettable collection of stories set in Zimbabwe, and the winner of the Guardian First Book Award.
Petina Gappah is a Zimbabwean writer. Her writing has already appeared in eight countries - she has written for Prospect, Farafina, Per Contra, the Guardian, the Zimbabwe Times and the website of Granta magazine. Petina's writing awards include Zimbabwe's Mukuru Nyaya Award for comic writing, and a runner-up award in the SA/PEN HSBC short story competition judged by JM Coetzee. She has law degrees from Cambridge, Graz University in Austria and the University of Zimbabwe and currently works in Geneva as an international trade lawyer. In addition to English and her native language Shona, Petina also speaks German and French.
In her accomplished debut, Gappah, a Zimbabwean writer and international trade lawyer, casts her compassionate eye on a diverse array of characters living, grieving, loving-and fighting to survive-under Robert Mugabe's regime. "In the Heart of the Golden Triangle," the second-person narrative of a wealthy woman's tormented marriage, turns a mirror upon the reader: "You worry because you have not found condoms in his pockets," the narrator muses of her husband's behavior, "but in the cushioned comfort of your four-by-four, you don't feel a thing." Meanwhile, in "The Cracked, Pink Lips of Rosie's Bridegroom," a village ponders a doomed marriage in which the groom, who has a history of "buried... girlfriends," is clearly marked as being afflicted by "the big disease with the little name." In "The Mupandawana Dancing Champion," Gappah sets her sights on political absurdities with a cutting story about a coffin maker with some great dance moves and an unfortunate nickname. Gappah's deep well of empathy and saber-sharp command of satire give her collection a surplus of heart and verve. (June) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.