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Irikidzayi Manase examines the land question in Zimbabwean literature

White NarrativesIrikidzayi Manase is the author of the newly released White Narratives: The depiction of post-2000 land invasions in Zimbabwe.

Manase, who teaches in the Department of English at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein Campus, is interested in how the land issue has been handled in post-2000 Zimbabwe narratives and fiction.

In 2014, while at the University of Venda, Manase wrote an article for Tydskrif vir Letterkunde titled “Lawrence Hoba’s depiction of the post-2000 Zimbabwean land invasions in The Trek and Other Stories”.

The article is available to read online.

The extract:

The article examines Lawrence Hoba’s The Trek and Other Stories (2009), which describes experiences from the post-2000 land invasions and fast-track land reform in Zimbabwe. It analyses selected short stories in relation to other Zimbabwean fictional works about land and the definition and restoration of dignified and other identities lost during Rhodesian colonialism. The article also discusses the significance of the narrative style, especially satire, and some of the themes, such as violence, dislocation, the position of women during the land reform and the multiple migration patterns in the land invasions, in an effort to foreground how all these link with Hoba’s cynicism and, at times, subversive perceptions on how the land issue has been handled in post-2000 Zimbabwe. The argument here is that Hoba’s fictional writings about the post-2000 land invasions and fast track land redistribution programme are reflective of a marked departure from the pro-nationalist, ideological and backward looking fictional mappings of land and national belonging. These writings place the ‘now’ as critical in unpacking the ironies and contradictory impact of the land redistribution exercise on ordinary Zimbabweans.

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