Friday, June 11, 2010

Another Great Writer Has been Born--Irene Sabatini

My post on June 8, 2010 was titled 'The Zimbabwe I know'. In that post I bemoaned, partially, what has now become Zimbabwe; of the human right abuses and our complicity in it and our failure to recognise the good things that is Zimbabwe. I then went ahead to chastised people for treading the path of the media moguls for painting Zimbabwe dark. I especially talked about the literary talents that abound in Zimbabwe and the need for us to talk about it, shout about it and inform all. Today I have been vindicated.

Whilst surfing the net, I came across the blog entry 'Zimbabwe Writer Wins 2010 Orange Award for New Writers' at the blog 'Wealth of Ideas' managed by Emmanuel Sigauke, co-editor for the first StoryTime anthology 'Africa Roar'. I was happy and quickly went ahead to read and checked out this wonderful author. 

Irene Sabatini won her category with the book 'The Boy Next Door'. According to the Chair  Judge, Di Speirs,
'At the heart a love story, it is also so much more as, through the experiences of its charismatic protagonists, it charts the first two decades of the emerging Zimbabwe with honesty, humor and humanity. Irene Sabatini has written and important book that will enchant readers and which marks the emergence of a serious new talent.' 
What more can I add after this! Read it for yourself here...

As Zimbabwe breaks free of British colonial rule, young Lindiwe Bishop encounters violence at close hand when her white neighbour is murdered. But this is domestic crime, apparently committed by the woman's stepson, Ian, although he is released from prison surprisingly quickly. Intrigued, Lindiwe strikes up a covert friendship with the mysterious boy next door, until he abruptly departs for South Africa. Read the rest here....

About Irene Sabatini
Irene Sabatini was born in a coal mining town in south-western Zimbabwe. She grew up in Bulawayo. She left Bulawayo for Harare to attend university. After university she went to Colombia where she stayed for four years working as teacher and studying for her masters. Soon after that she started writing. According to her "The writing seemed to just spiral out of me, and if I had to pick a time when I really started this journey it would be that wonderful quiet morning on a verandah so many years ago in the Colombian countryside." Read more about this author here....

To reiterate my earlier post, let's come together and promote literature on the continent. This continent has a lot of stories that could be churned out in droves. Through literature we can solve most the problems we are facing as a continent. We can educate our children, induce a positive attitudinal change, and influence positively the thinking of posterity. 


  1. Good news indeed. Congrats to Irene, I have ordered the book.

  2. Irene Sabatini sounds like an Italian name... :-)

  3. @Whitman...thanks for ordering the book. I hope you would enjoy it.

  4. @Stefania...yes I thought so and had I not read it I would hardly have believed it. but that is the unity of humanity....enjoy the day...

  5. I have an ongoing project to read Orange Prize winners and nominees. I find some of my best reads from this list. It's so good to see an African story take this prize. I will definitely be reading The Boy Next Door.

  6. @Sandra...that's a challenge. Hope you find this interesting also.


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