Strife is the Winner of the 2007 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa.
Strife is a rich and densely written novel that provides a dark exposé of the tension between modernity and tradition, and deep insights into culture in Zimbabwe in the 21st century. Chinodya explores the powerful draw that conflicting ideologies exercise over an emerging middle-class that at once yearns for autonomy and unconsciously desires the irresponsibility of an all-pervading destiny.
Tracing the Gwanagara’s roots back over a century, Chinodya interweaves past and the present, juxtaposing incidents never forgotten or resolved, revealing how memory becomes an actor in lived time. A large family grows up in Gweru. Their father aspires to be an enlightened Christian man; he sees his children through school and college where they do well. But as adults, they are struck by illness. Who is to blame? Who is to cure these ailments? What wrongs have they committed to offend the ancestors? How can atonement be made? Can education, science and medicine provide any solution? Their mother, the moon huntress, seeks out the answers and the cures in traditional beliefs and customs.
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'The brilliance of this powerful and haunting story, in notably innovative form, brings a new dimension to African writing. The novelist reverses the traditional relationship between family and nation, concentrating on the social energies in an African family, rather than the individual or the nation. Powerful and haunting, with memorable portraits of individuals, the story is driven by a deep and distinctive sense of the tragic. The novelist’s psychological sensitivity illuminates the dominant themes of disease and death; and the constant tension between the pull of the past and the aspiration of modernity is expressed in a prose that makes everything original and new, recasting old themes.'
'The winning of the 2007 NOMA Award For Publishing in Africa by the Zimbabwean author Shimmer Chinodya for his novel Strife (2006) is significant. For the author, it shows his steady progress into a master craftsman and, broadly, it exhibits the coming to flower of the Zimbabwean literary process.'The Sunday Nation, Kenya
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