The Bookshelf of Emily J.

I heard about Zenzele: A Letter for My Daughter (1996) by J. Nozipo Maraire in the alumni magazine for the College of Humanities of my undergraduate university.  In that little publication, there’s a section called “Books that Made a Difference,” and I once had published there my thoughts on Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943).  I kept an eye on that column, and when a nice review of Zenzele appeared, I immediately got a copy of it because it sounded like such a great book.  I’m glad I finally had time during the holidays to sit down and read it.

zenzele cover

The novel is written in the form of a letter from a Zimbabwean mother to her daughter, a student at Harvard.  While there is certainly a narrative arc, I won’t go into all of the stories or the characters of the daughter and mother.  I think their relationship…

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