By Doris May Lessing
The British writer writes approximately her homeland--from which she was once exiled by way of the previous all-white government--discussing political corruption, AIDS, communal dwelling, and masses extra. by way of the writer of The 5th Child. 35,000 first printing. $35,000 ad/promo. travel.
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Extra info for African Laughter: Four Visits to Zimbabwe
The school buildings were of a style called Cape Colonial, or Cape Dutch, white and low, with red tiles, green shutters. Everything was clean and tidy and there were green English lawns. I felt alien to the place. This was because I was alien to the English middle class, playing out its rituals here, as if on a stage. I knew even then they were anachronistic, absurd, and, of course, admirable in their tenacity. These were the ‘nice people’ my mother yearned for, exiled in her red earth district surrounded by people–as she was convinced–of the wrong class.
People living in the villages had a hard time, for both the government forces and the black armies punished them for aiding the other side, but they had to help whichever soldiers arrived and demanded it. Large numbers of villagers were taken by force from their homes and put into what amounted to concentration camps–of course ‘for their own protection’. Young men and girls, as soon as they were old enough, ran away to join guerilla armies, in Zambia, or Mozambique, or even the forests of Southern Rhodesia itself, for there at least they would not be subjected to harassment, torture or death by the government troops.
This is sandveld country, not the heavy red, brown and bright pink soils of Banket, and the landscape has a light dry airiness. Mountains and more mountains accompany the road, but at distances that paint them blue, mauve, purple, while close to the road are clusters of granite boulders unique in the world; at least, I have not seen anything like them elsewhere, or in photographs. The boulders erupt from pale soil to balance on each other so lightly it seems impossible a strong wind will not topple them.