African Laughter: Four Visits to Zimbabwe by Doris May Lessing

By Doris May Lessing

The British writer writes approximately her homeland--from which she used to be exiled through the previous all-white government--discussing political corruption, AIDS, communal residing, and lots more and plenty extra. by means of the writer of The 5th Child. 35,000 first printing. $35,000 ad/promo. journey.

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Five years. Five child-years. What’s five years–when you’re grown up? Immersed in that time, Convent time, nun-time, with aeons to go before holidays came, which were a different time, equally long, endless, thank God, when I could be free and in the bush, I drowned in helplessness. Above all, I was abandoned by my parents. I was homesick to the point of physical illness: I knew why I was always ill at school, though they didn’t. When I asked my brother how he felt about Ruzawi, he said it was all right.

This man insisted in one sentence that this was still God’s Own Country, and he could raise and train race-horses more cheaply and better here than anywhere in the world; he and his family enjoyed a wonderful life and he wouldn’t leave for anything–but the black government…I listened with half an ear, thinking that soon, when I had paid my dues to the white world, I could leave it and find out about the new Zimbabwe. Meanwhile I disliked this man with an impatience identical to that I had felt all those years ago, growing up here.

The moment went to join the others on a list of moments that I kept in my mind, to be checked, often, so they did not fade and go. And I fell asleep and woke with the sun on my face, not the moon, my brother curled like a cat, my mother already at work folding up the bedding, and perhaps the ‘boy’ still asleep, his back to us. Or it was in a thick whiteness that sometimes in the very early morning rolled through the trees and over us, a mist that clung to our eyelashes and our skins, and made us all shiver as we sat drinking mugs of hot sweet tea around the revived fire.

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