In this long awaited third offering, Tsitsi Dangarembga picks up where she left off in her last novel Nervous Conditions, with the journey of Tambu Sigauke.
However, this time around Tambu is no longer at his Babamukuru’s mission school.
In This Mournable Body, Tambu is a fully grown woman, who has not only graduated from the mission school, but also from a college.
Like all graduates in the Southern African Region and the continent at large, Tambu faces familiar challenges of difficulty in finding employment after resigning from her job as a copywriter at an advertising agency.
However, while renting a room at Mai Mayanga, her fortune changes and she finds employment at Northlea School, where she teaches Biology.
Without spilling all the beans, something tragic happens to Tambu at the school, which ultimately gets her checked into a psychiatric institute.
What did she do to her pupil Elizabeth that saw her being summoned to a ‘mad school’? Or did the sly queen wannabe Esmeralda push her to lose her marbles?
This is a book that will inspire a lot, especially young black women to never give up on life,no matter the circumstances or the punches that life gives.
Tambu never gave up and she got handed a lifeline at Tracey’s tourism agency.
Well that was of course, until her mom threw a spanner in the works which resulted in Tambu’s life having to change yet again.
Plenty of twists and turns in this book.
Women empowerment, institutional racism, xenophobia, gender based violence and love are some of the themes that form part of this powerful narrative.
While this is a story about Tambu, one will also find out how Nyasha, remember her,Tambu’s rebellious cousin, has grown into a fine mother and a wife to Leon.
In keeping with her style of writing, Dangarembga like in her previous novels mixed her native Shona language with English, which offers an extra Shona lessons for those not familiar with the language.
I give this book an 8/10 rating, for the manner in which Dangarembga managed to deliver the story-line with precision.
One hopes though that the next novel will not be as much of a cliff hanger.
Other than that, a must read book in the ever growing African literature movement.