In 2009, Zimbabwean author Petina Gappah won the Guardian first book award for her short story collection ‘An Elegy for Easterly‘, Six years later she returns with her debut novel ‘The Book of Memory’, a book that the Guardian describes as proudly Zimbabwean. The book mirrors a lot of Gappahs experiences having been born in Zimbabwe (then known as Southern Rhodesia) and experiencing post colonial transition.
‘In its portrayal of a postcolonial, multi-ethnic country, The Book of Memory reflects the complexities of Gappah’s own background. She was born in 1971, when it was still white-ruled Rhodesia, to an autodidact father who worked for a bank and was determined that his five children should get the education he had been denied.’ – Guardian
Memory is an albino woman languishing in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in Harare, Zimbabwe, where she has been convicted of murder. As part of her appeal, her lawyer insists that she write down what happened as she remembers it. As her story unfolds, Memory reveals that she has been tried and convicted for the murder of Lloyd Hendricks, her adopted father. But who was Lloyd Hendricks? Why does Memory feel no remorse for his death? And did everything happen exactly as she remembers?
In The Book of Memory, Petina Gappah has created a uniquely slippery narrator: forthright, acerbically funny, and with a complicated relationship to the truth. Moving between the townships of the poor and the suburbs of the rich, and between the past and the present, Gappah weaves a compelling tale of love, obsession, the relentlessness of fate, and the treachery of memory.
The book of Memory will be released in February 2016 but is available to pre-order via Amazon. Click here to learn more.