Harvest of Thorns


151 pages
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The 1990 Commonwealth Writers Regional Prize voted Harvest of Thorns the winner in the Best Book category. Harvest of Thorns tells the story of Benjamin Tichafa who grows up in Rhodesia in the 1960s. From a conservative, religious family, but exposed to the heady ideas of the black nationalist movements, the young student is pulled in different directions. Isolated and troubled at boarding school, he is provoked into leaving, making his way to Mozambique, and joining the freedom fighters. There, in the crucible of a bitter civil war of liberation, the young man develops into manhood. Returning, hardened, at independence, he feels that little has changed, not least within his own family circumstances, and asks himself what it means to be free in the new Zimbabwe.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 février 2018
Nombre de visites sur la page 20
EAN13 9781779223289
Langue English

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Harvest of Thorns
Published by Weaver Press, Box A1922, Avondale, Harare. 2018 www.weaverpresszimbabwe.com>
First published by Baobab Books, Harare, 1989, reprinted 2018
© Shimmer Chinodya, 1989, 2018
© Photograph of Shimmer Chinodya, Weaver Press, Typeset by Weaver Press Cover Design: Farai Wallace, Harare. Printed by: Bidvest, SA
All rights reserved. No part of the publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise – without the express written permission of the publisher.
ISBN: 978-1-77922-327-2 (p/b) ISBN: 978-1-77922-328-9 (e-pub)
Shimmer Chinodyawas 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 byFarai’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) andHarvest 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.has won many awards for his work, He including the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa Region) forHarvest of Thorns, a Caine Prize shortlist forCan we Talkand the NOMA award for publishing in Africa forStrife.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.
Part One
T he day he came back, and she walked in obliviously from the shower-room with soapsuds on her hands and found him sitting in his big brown boots on the sofa, she cried so much the neighbours rushed in thinking she had received news of death; after they had gone and she could talk she looked at the ropes of dried meat hung on a strip of newspaper and fished into her long skirts to send Peter to the butcher. And on that same morning of the day he came back he fixed a plate on the stove she said she had paid an electrician to repair and he said ‘You shouldn’t throw money to the sharks’ and went out to help Peter water the cabbages in the garden while she watched them from the window trying to reclaim from the shaggy-haired man in brown boots the Benjamin she once knew who had repaired a burnt-out pressing iron element with a piece of tin foil and operated the old gramophone on a car battery and disused transformer until his father took it away to sell it. The afternoon of the day he came back he went out with Peter to the shops and she stood at the window watching them; Peter hobbling on his crutch beside him, the stump of his leg jiggling in his shorts, his face flashing and him striding on and she thought how tall he had grown, how broad now his shoulders, how sunburnt his face. And on the night of the day he came back he knocked on the cracked green door and it opened and she let him in and he blinked in the light and said,‘Manheru.’ She bolted the door and brought him his food and a bowl of water and sat on the sofa opposite him. ‘You shouldn’t have waited for me,’ he said, glancing at the little yellow clock on the display cabinet that ticked three. ‘I just thought you’d want to talk,’ she said. His hands and mouth worked nimbly at the sadza and meat.The last time he ate so fast he was seven, she reminded herself, he was seven and he was rushing off to school for the first time... His eyes skimmed over the cracked glass picture frame on the wall and the shelf where the Bibles stood. He grabbed the mug of water and slurped down a mouthful. ‘We’re all fine here,’ he heard her say. ‘I’m so glad you came back alive, Benjamin.’ He braced his hands on the table to cut off a belch. He looked up and saw her face watching him, waiting. Suddenly seized by a panic of bright lights he stood up and said, slowly, carefully mouthing each syllable, ‘Good night.’ Hardly hearing her reply, he stepped into the spare bedroom. For a moment he swayed in the sleep-suffused dark. He groped for the switch. In the yellow neon burst, Peter sprawled in pyjama shorts on the bed, his chubby face half buried in a pillow. Benjamin planted himself carefully on the edge the bed and, pushing the door back, began to undress. He took Peter’s full leg in his hand and moved him to one side, brushed down the switch and pulled the thin blanket over his chest. He thought he heard Peter chuckle in his sleep, dreaming perhaps. He turned his head from the roof where the light from the main bedroom formed little crosses on the corrugated asbestos. On the other side of the wall a bed creaked, a voice coughed. He heard another sound, the neighbour’s toilet flushing or a car washing through a puddle in the street perhaps; his mind plunged swiftly to sleep.