Zenzele (Maraire)

Zenzele: A Letter for My Daughter
J. Nozipo Maraire, 1996
Dell Publishing
208 pp.
ISBN-13: 9780385318228

In an extraordinary literary debut—written as a letter from a Zimbabwean mother to her daughter, a student at Harvard—J. Nozipo Maraire transforms the lessons of life into a lyrical narrative. Interweaving history and memories, disappointments and dreams, like the tales of the traditional village storyteller, this letter is a gift from one generation to the next. As her daughter enters a new world, a mother shares the riches of her own through stories of her personal experiences and those of her generation.

She writes of Zimbabwe's struggle for independence, and of the men and women who shaped it: Zenzele's father, an outspoken activist lawyer; her aunt, a schoolteacher by day and a secret guerrilla fighter by night; and her cousin, a maid and spy. Each parable is a shrewd and quite often humorous tale interwoven to form a compelling and powerful story. Every character is a revelation and each story a revolution. Zenzele is for anyone who has ever loved and lost, fought and won. It is a complex tale wherein lies a simple truth: Respect the individual but understand what is vital to the whole. (From the publisher.)

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