They will sing war-songs with the fire of battle. They will compose new war-songs and fight on until the shrine of the land of their birth are respected … you can torture me. They will compose new war-songs and fight on until the shrine of the land of their birth are respected once more. My bones will rise with such power the graves will be too small to contain them. The ribs of the graves will break when my bones rise, and you stare in disbelief, not knowing if your hunger for war can stand up to it.
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This is powerful portrayal of the prevailing theme that for the ordinary illiterate woman on the farm the promise of independence has still not been realized and it is business as usual. Hove has a mastered the art of creating a setting that speaks volumes without using words.
The book has many voices and is based on the Shona tradition of interactive storytelling around a fire and each person listen while the storyteller speaks. Marita is the main character a woman who has been shunned by society when she cannot conceive. She bears the burden of womanhood, loss of son and illiteracy and poverty at the hands of her cruel employer Manyepo Liar the white farmer who constantly verbally abuses her and others.
She is outspoken contrary to tradition which believes that women are to be seen and not heard. She humanizes the struggles of the forgotten people in society that has moved on while others are let behind searching for answers and a way forward.
She is not a complainer, just a woman who is searching for her son. She forges a relationship with a young lady in which she is like the mother in law to the Janifa whom her son once wrote a love letter to. The love letter is the means by which they connect and what holds their hope and her connection to the future. At face value one may despise him for his methods but we empathize with his character.
This book gives an insight in the conditions on a colonial farm where there is total disregard for human life. The story of the father who works at the sugar plantation and angers his foreman is thrown into the fire.
The life of a father has little value to the plantation owner but when he disappears there are not consequences but the family is left grieving, they have no voice. He was educated at the University of South Africa and the University of Zimbabwe, and has worked as an educator and journalist. Chenjerai Hove has published numerous novels, poetry anthologies and collections of essays and reflections.
Bones (by Chenjerai Hove)
Friday 25 October Born near Zvishavane in , poet, novelist and social commentator Chenjerai Hove lived in exile in Europe toward the end of his life. His critical social and political commentary in the weekly newspaper The Standard gave rise to threats that he was forced to take seriously. And yet for a writer for whom ideals were central, such loss was intensified by what he believed to be a betrayal of governance in an independent Zimbabwe. His first novel, Bones , which won the Noma Award, shows the depth of his empathy for rural people and in particular rural women. If Hove was a nationalist, he was also a fearless observer and outspoken social and cultural critic, and never shied away from recording the violence of the new Zimbabwe in his fiction, poetry and journalism. Hove passed away on 12 July in Stavanger, Norway.
Book Review: Bones by Chenjerai Hove
Tygocage How do African men and women respond to the repression and exploitation inherent in the colonial state? Aug 09, Matt Hunt rated it liked it Shelves: This book gives an insight in the conditions on a colonial farm where there is total disregard for human life. Marianne Stene rated it liked it Jun 19, Hove worked impressive depth and beauty into this heartbreaking page novel. Published by University of Zimbabwe Publications, P. Book Review: Bones by Chenjerai Hove She is not a complainer, just a woman who is searching for her son. Desperately Seeking Europe co-authoressays on European identity, He is second-in-command to Manyepo and a loyalist, notorious for using language to humiliate and cow recalcitrant workers of the likes of Marita.
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