Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Monday, July 24, 2017
One day I wrote a blog post about how my inability to put down roots and stick to a single place or activity for long had evolved. I was not supposed to write that post. I was supposed to be working on an assignment for school due the next day. But there is a land called Procrastinatoria and I am their queen. Instead of ten pages on voluntary medical male circumcision, I toyed with the idea of finding myself by doing less and being more. I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote. Then when my eyelids were so heavy with exhaustion that I could barely keep them open as I clicked on the Publish button, the answer to my brother’s question came to me. I was tired but completely satisfied. I had been so absorbed in what I was doing that I hadn’t noticed time slipping past and the sleep creeping in. I had stolen time from my education and spent it on my immediate happiness. Instant versus delayed gratification. An indulgence. A guilty pleasure, one might say.
Nothing relaxes me the way writing does. Nothing else feels so effortless even when the results aren’t perfect. Nothing validates me the way writing does. Writing gives me wings. My writing needs no audience. It bears witness to itself. I write because it makes me feel alive and significant. I write because I express myself best that way. My brain moves so fast that my mouth can’t keep up. So writing is my one chance at taking what’s on the inside of my mind and manifesting it in the material realm. In a world with so many distractions that exact a heavy toll on introverts like me, writing is my refuge, a welcome escape. It’s my happy place, my soft place to land. I write because there’s nothing else I would rather do, ever. They say you shouldn’t need a lover; you should want one. So sure, I don’t need to write. I want to write. But I want it badly. I want it all the time like a hot new crush. In my universe, writing is bae.
Sandisile Tshuma is a Zimbabwean storyteller, health, development and human rights practitioner who has studied molecular and cellular biology, public health, disaster management and acting from the University of Cape Town (South Africa), the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), the National University of Science and Technology (Zimbabwe) and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (United Kingdom).
Sandisile has a professional background in monitoring, evaluation and communication in sexual and reproductive health programmes with the United Nations and other International Organizations in East and Southern Africa. She is an award winning short story writer, the founding editor of AntuAke online magazine, and has curated a personal blog for five years. Sandisile's short stories, "Arrested Development" and "The Need" were published by amaBooks Publishing in two anthologies of Zimbabwean short stories. "Arrested Development" won an Honourable Mention for the 2010 Thomas Pringle Award in the short story category, has been translated into a number of languages and is included in an anthology titled "When The Sun Goes Down", a set book in the Kenyan English language curriculum at secondary school level. The Need has been translated into isiNdebele. Her first full length book, "Dandelion Dreaming," tells the story of marginalised youth in South Africa using the "photo-voice" methodology.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Monday, July 10, 2017
Tendai Huchu in conversation with Jeanne-Marie Jackson
Durham University, Friday 15 Sep 2017, 17.30
as part of the Transnational Russian Studies seminar programme
Tendai Huchu's second novel, The Maestro, the Magistrate and the Mathematician, channels Dostoevsky’s Demons at key points as it abandons an issues-based linear plot in favour of three zany novellas braided together. The story is in the fabric of the novel itself, as it gets snagged on the vacant opportunities of global downward mobility and flailing diasporic national opposition politics. The Maestro, the Magistrate, and the Mathematician, in its invocation of Russian influence, captures Huchu's propensity for formal experimentalism and philosophical depth. In a conversation with Johns Hopkins professor and literary critic, Jeanne-Marie Jackson, Huchu will discuss his efforts to capture and play with the widespread cynicism of our moment. Jeanne-Marie Jackson writes of the influence of Dostoevsky's Demons on Huchu's novel in a chapter titled 'The Russian Novel of Ideas in Southern Africa' in a forthcoming work.
Dostoevsky’s Demons is, according to Ronald Hingley, scholar and specialist in Russian history and literature, “one of humanity’s most impressive achievements—perhaps even its supreme achievement—in the art of prose fiction.”
Huchu’s multi-genre short stories and nonfiction have appeared in the Manchester Review, Interzone, Space and Time Magazine, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Africa Report, Wasafiri, Year’s Best Crime, Mystery Stories 2016, and elsewhere. Between projects, he translates fiction between the Shona and English languages. In 2014 he was shortlisted for the Caine Prize, and in 2017 for the Nommo Awards for Speculative Fiction. Find him @TendaiHuchu.
Huchu has two short stories to be published soon in Zimbabwe by amaBooks, in Moving On and other stories from Zimbabwe and in The Goddess of Mtwara, the 2017 Caine Prize for African Writing anthology.
The Maestro, the Magistrate and the Mathematician is published in Zimbabwe by amaBooks, in the UK by Parthian Books, in North America by Ohio University Press, in Germany by Peter Hammer and in Nigeria by Kachifo.