Valerie Tagwira

Archive for October, 2008|Monthly archive page

Reactions to an Evening of Uncertainty

In Books, Literature, Reviews, The Uncertainty of Hope, Writing on October 27, 2008 at 1:02 am

In my last post, I talked about the literary discussion which, at the time, was due to take place in Harare, at the Book Cafe, on The Uncertainty of Hope.

I am told the discussion was well-attended and that it went very well.

The keynote speakers were Ruby Magosvongwe and Josephine Muganiwa, both from the University of Zimbabwe.

Amanda Atwood reveals that the discussion was dominated by the reality of the challenges Zimbabweans are currently experiencing and how these challenges are depicted in The Uncertainty of Hope (“Pragmatic morality in Valerie Tagwira’s The Uncertainty of Hope: A Book CafĂ© discussion“, Kubatana.net, October 3).

Among other things, it explored how the struggles which form the core of the novel are represented in the relationship between the individual and the state; the individual and the community as well as relationships in family structures, and so on.

Atwood’s article is also worth visiting because it provides links through which you can listen to the presentations Magosvongwe and Muganiwa gave.

Elsewhere, Ruzvidzo Mupfudza, another Zimbabwean writer, gives a view of one of the discussions that took place in the shadow of the Book Cafe presentation (“Why we write still“, Zimbablog.com, September 25).

In his post, Mupfudza responds to the criticism that the ending in The Uncertainty of Hope is like that of a ‘fairytale’.

Mupfudza’s response is very close to the view I took when I was writing the novel. There were a number of other endings that I considered, the one that I chose felt right because the characters had gone through a tough time and I wanted to communicate this massage that no matter how bad things get, there is always the hope that things will get better.

When you take the action in The Uncertainty of Hope as a microcosm of the crisis that is currently being played out in Zimbabwe, only time will tell if this message of hope is appropriate, let alone accurate.