By Dambudzo Marechera
This explosive, award-winning novella of turning out to be up in colonial Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), advised in beautiful, innovative prose, touches the reader's nerve in the course of the author's harrowing portrait of lives disrupted by means of white settlers, a tender disenchanted black guy, and person pain within the Sixties and Seventies. Marechera's uncooked, piercing writings secured his position in African literature as a stylistic innovator and insurgent commentator of the ghetto condition.
whereas The apartment of Hunger is the center-piece of this assortment, readers also are handled to a sequence of brief sketches within which Marechera, with indignant humor, additional navigates subject matters of survival, insanity, violence, and despair.
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Measles or mumps were the symptoms of a malign order. Even a common cold could become a casus belli between neighbours. And add to that the stench of our decaying family life with its perpetual headaches of gut-rot and soul-sickness and rats gnawing the cheese and me worrying it the next morning like a child gently scratching a pleasurable sore on its index finger. How could I just get over it, for heaven’s sake? What began as a little stream of moral experiment had swelled into the huge Victoria Falls of a cancerous growth.
When he came out of jail Peter could not settle down. He kept talking about the bloody whites; that phrase ‘bloody whites’ seemed to be roasting his mind and he got into fights which terrified everyone so much that no one in their right mind dared cross him. And Peter walked about raging and spoiling for a fight which just was not there. And because he hungered for the fight everyone saw it in his eyes and liked him for it. That made it worse for him until his woman got pregnant and the schools inspector said she couldn’t teach in that state, and Peter threatened to crunch the sky into nothing and refused to marry her because he wanted to be ‘free’.
I sent you to University,’ she said. ’ ‘Tell that to Ian Smith,’ Peter butted in maliciously. ’ I did not like this so I began to whistle ‘Little Jack Horner Sat in a Corner’. Peter, as is usual when something indistinct disgusts him, farted long and loudly and spat in my general direction, and muttered something about capitalists and imperialists. ‘And the bloody whites,’ I added, for this trinity was for him the thing that held the House of Hunger in a stinking grip. The foul breath of our history, he said.