What a great day for Ægitna: we are extremely proud to share the good news of Lucy Mushita‘s debut novel, Chinongwa set to be released on next July in Australia by Spinifex Press, one of the finest feminist publishers in the world. This publication follows the novel recent release @ Weaver Press in Zimbabwe & Modjaji Books in South Africa.
Set in Zimbabwe in the 1920s, Mushita’s first novel follows the life of a brave young Zimbabwean girl named Chinongwa as she develops into womanhood. At the tender age of nine, Chinongwa’s life becomes a nightmare when she is given to a married man old enough to be her grandfather and has her first child at eleven years old. Forced to grow up very quickly and rely on her survival instincts, Chinongwa tries her best to fulfill the expectations of being a good wife and mother, but being very young, alone, and a girl, the odds are stacked against her. Eventually, after spending her whole life doing the bidding of others, all Chinongwa wants is her independence. But how can one gain such a thing as a woman?
With its well-written and powerful character, Chinongwa -translated in French by Elise Argaud @ Actes Sud, awarded and praised by many- is an essential piece of literature that embodies the figure of a young girl and her experiences in the violence of history. From a small rural village in Zimbabwe, Mushita’s novel is a tactful work that speaks to postcolonial corpus, making a young girl a universal symbol who carries on her path through history towards all of us. It explores 20th century trauma, colonization, and apartheid, bringing it closer to us, touching deep inside us, which is what literature is made for.
Much more than a testimony about a Southern African village at the beginning of the 20th century, Chinongwa is a poignant novel about an individual’s journey towards independence, paid at a high price.
Book and rights information: here
The author’s profile: here