The novel 'Patchwork' was the winner of the Penguin Prize for African Writing in 2010.
Banda-Aaaku, Ellen Mulenga
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Title: Patchwork
Author: Ellen Mulenga Banda-Aaaku
Publisher: The Penguin Group (SA)
Cape Town, South Africa 2011
ISBN 9780143527534 / ISBN 978-0-14-352753-4
Softcover, 13 x 20 cm, 224 pages


'Everyone calls me Pumpkin. Firstly, because I was a fat, chubby-cheeked baby. And, secondly, because when Ma was pregnant with me, no matter how much pumpkin she ate, she just couldn't get enough ...' Lusaka. 1978. Pumpkin is nine years old. Her fashionable mother is the queen of Tudu Court, but underneath the veneer of respectability that her father's money provides lies a secret that threatens their whole world - the tall, elegant Totela Ponga is a drunk. And when Pumpkin's father, the wealthy businessman JS, discovers her mother's alcoholism it sets in motion a chain of events that come to define the rest of her life. Weaving together the stories of three generations of women, this novel is a patchwork of love, jealousy and human frailty set against a backdrop of war and political ambition. It is a remarkable journey that takes us deep into the heart of a family both fractured and bound together by their love for one man.