ISBN 9781779223517
Pages 218
Dimensions 210 x 140 mm
Published 2019
Publisher Weaver Press, Zimbabwe
Format Paperback

Dew in the Morning

by Shimmer Chinodya

Dew in the Morning was written when the author, Shimmer Chinodya, was eighteen. The intensity of childhood memory is sharp and immediate. Godi, the young boy whose life we experience as he grows up, perceives more than he understands. The ambivalence or instability of the text lies at the juncture between the felt experience of the child, and the rational, interpretative, analysis of the adult.

A Bildungsroman, Chinodya captures the centrality of land in the national consciousness: its beauty, its rhythms, its seasons and its fertility. But he does not romanticise the hardships: the droughts, poor harvests, over-crowding – particularly as a result of the inflow of resettled people – and the tensions over land and between peoples as they struggle to survive. Good humour, strict morality, hard work, and mutual support can be undermined by corrupt practice, or tainted by traditional ceremonies that are as frightening as they are powerful, and raise essential questions of belief and validity.

Dew in the Morning, is a tender, evocative novel of growing up, but in it we see the seeds of many issues which Chinodya will dwell on in his later novels: familial tensions, the taut interplay of tradition and modernity, ancestral beliefs and Christianity.

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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.