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Dambudzo Marechera Biography

(1955–87), The House of Hunger, Black Sunlight, Mind Blast, The Black Insider

poems short stories life

African novelist and short-story writer, born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), educated in a mission boarding school, and at Oxford University. Subsequently, he lived on the edge of insolvency in London, Cardiff, and Oxford, before returning to a newly independent Zimbabwe. The House of Hunger (1979), a collection of short stories, portrays the brutalities of life in a pre-independence Zimbabwean township. The stories unforgettably reveal how frustration results in futile, self-inflicted violence among the oppressed. His novel Black Sunlight (1980) focuses on a photographer caught between recording violence, and being involved in it; he can escape neither the fortunes of an urban guerrilla group, nor a society in the process of disintegration, and Marechera's experimental style highlights the nightmarish options. Mind Blast (1984) is a collection of short fiction, drama, poems, and essays. Posthumous publications include The Black Insider (1990), a novella, three stories, and two poems; and Cemetery of Mind: Collected Poems of Dambudzo Marechera (1992). The latter is edited by Flora Veit-Wild, who has also compiled biographical and critical material, with selections of his writings, in the companion volume, Dambudzo Marechera: A Source Book on His Life and Works (1992).

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