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Recommendations for Letters from Zimbabwe
Author: Kara Benson
Softcover, 11x19 cm, 140 pages
Trent's pick-up has a name: 'Fugly'. Yes, it means exactly what you think it does! When he came to pick me up, I thought a nightmare had rolled into our yard. They must have collected bits and pieces for decades and stuck them together to make this pick-up with a closed platform. Nothing matched, and it did not even have a colour...
The windscreen had so many cracks that your eyesight needed to be excellent to see through it, even without rain. The doors were pockmarked, as if someone had tested a hammer on them. They only opened from the inside. Added security, what a bonus!
Kara is a cosmopolitan woman in the prime of her life. After living in Asia, Australia, and eastern Africa, she is now living, for the first time, in southern Africa. Quite different from the protagonists in Norman Rush's stories Whites, whose loss of optimism and courage is echoed in laments about the dirt, the boredom, and the barren land scorched by the fierce sun, Kara takes a refreshing stance towards her new home.
She derives her energy from writing letters to her best friend Hannah and from nature and people she encounters on her frequent travels through Zimbabwe. Kara Benson's style stands out due to its lively, powerful, and evocative way of narration which is, at times, pointedly ironic.
This collection of my letters from Zimbabwe was written from 2003 to 2006, while I lived with my husband in Zimbabwe where he worked for a NGO. During this time, I kept in regular contact with my friend Hannah. Writing to her about the events in the country, my encounters, my feelings and thoughts, these letters became a kind of diary.
My experiences have been exceptional and breathtakingly beautiful, but also frightening and confusing. With this book, I wish to share these encounters with a greater number of readers.