ISBN 9781779223159
Pages 148
Dimensions 210 x 140mm
Published 2018
Publisher Weaver Press, Zimbabwe
Format Paperback

Can We Talk and Other Stories

by Shimmer Chinodya

Shimmer Chinodya, winner of the 1989 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa region) is one of Zimbabwe's foremost fiction writers. This collection of short stories reveals his development as a writer of passionate questioning integrity.

The first stories, 'Hoffman Street' and 'The Man who Hanged Himself' capture the bewildered innocence of a child's view of the adult world, where behaviour is often puzzling and contradictory; stories such as 'Going to See Mr B.V.' provide the transition between the world of the adult and that of the child where the latter is required to act for himself in a situation where illusions founder on a narrow reality. 'Among the Dead' and 'Brothers and Sisters' look wryly at the self-conscious, self-centred, desperately serious world of young adulthood while 'Playing your Cards', 'The Waterfall', 'Strays' and 'Bramson' introduce characters for whom ambition, disillusion, and disappointment jostle for attention in a world where differences of class, culture, race and morality come to the fore. Finally, in 'Can we Talk' we conclude with an abrasive, lucid, sinewy voice which explores the nature of estrangement. The charge is desolation.

Can we Talk and Other Stories speaks of the unspoken and unsaid. The child who watches but does not understand, the young man who observes but cannot participate, the man who stands outside not sure where his desires and ambitions lead, the older man, estranged by his own choices. 'Can we Talk' is not a question but a statement that insists on being heard, and demands a reassessment of our dreams.

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About the Author

Shimmer Chinodya

Shimmer Chinodya was born in 1957 in Gweru, the second child in a large, happy family. He studied English Literature and Education at the University of Zimbabwe. After a spell teaching and with curriculum development, he earned an MA in Creative Writing at the Iowa Writers' Workshop (USA). His first novel, Dew in the Morning, was published in 1982. This was followed by Farai's Girls (1984), Child of War (under the pen name B. Chirasha, 1986), Harvest of Thorns (1989), Can We Talk and other stories (1998), Tale of Tamari (2004), Chairman of Fools (2005), Strife (2006), Tindo's Quest (2011), Chioniso and other stories (2012) and Harvest of Thorns Classic: A Play (2016). His work appears in numerous anthologies. He has also written educational texts, training manuals, radio and film scripts, including the script for the feature film, Everyone's Child. He has won many awards for his work, including the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa Region) for Harvest of Thorns, a Caine Prize shortlist for Can we Talk and the NOMA award for publishing in Africa for Strife. He has won awards on many occasions from ZIWU, ZBPA and NAMA. He has also received many fellowships abroad and from 1995 to 1997 was Distinguished Dana Professor in Creative Writing and African Literature at the University of St Lawrence in upstate New York.