BOOK REVIEW: TSITSI DANGAREMBGA – THIS MOURNABLE BODY

Today, I am back with another book review on this year’s Booker Prize long-list and it’s the last book I read on the list! It’s This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga.

The shortlist announcement is quickly approaching for this year’s Booker Prize and I’ve got a few more reviews to post before it is announced! And today, it’s about This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga. But what is it about? Here is the synopsis:

In this tense and psychologically charged novel, Tsitsi Dangarembga channels the hope and potential of one young girl and a fledgling nation to lead us on a journey to discover where lives go after hope has departed.

In this tense and psychologically charged novel, Tsitsi Dangarembga channels the hope and potential of one young girl and a fledgling nation to lead us on a journey to discover where lives go after hope has departed.

Here we meet Tambudzai, living in a run-down youth hostel in downtown Harare and anxious about her prospects after leaving a stagnant job. At every turn in her attempt to make a life for herself, she is faced with a fresh humiliation, until the painful contrast between the future she imagined and her daily reality ultimately drives her to a breaking point.

This was one of the books on the long-list that I didn’t know that much about before reading it. And… I didn’t really like it, to be honest. Perhaps it’s down to the fact that this is part of a trilogy and I haven’t read the other two but it just didn’t work overall for me and I am still a little confused after finishing it.

When I first started it, I thought she was a brilliant writer and I really got into the story and I do think she is a brilliant writer, there were some passages or sentences throughout the novel that I really enjoyed. It just didn’t work overall for me as a novel, sadly. The second person narrative didn’t really do it for me, either. I guess this is kind of the point but I just felt a bit cold and distanced and I didn’t really want to carry on reading.

I think the exploration of identity, politics, gender, and more were dealt brilliantly but I just wanted more from this novel. It didn’t grip me and made me want to pick up and carry on reading straight away. Like I said, perhaps this is because I haven’t read the other two in the trilogy and to be honest, I don’t think I will in the future.

I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews for this, too. Some hated it, some didn’t like it and some adore it but I guess that’s the whole point of books, isn’t it?

Not my favourite but I appreciated a lot of it but would like other books to be on the shortlist than this one. I’ve got three more reviews of books on this year’s Booker Prize long-list and you can check out the others on my blog!

Have you read This Mournable Body? Are you a fan of the trilogy? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you,

Corey.

One thought on “BOOK REVIEW: TSITSI DANGAREMBGA – THIS MOURNABLE BODY

  1. I read Nervous Conditions last year and loved it, I thought the writing combined with the psychological insight was razor sharp, so I was keen to see what would happen to Tambudzai.
    The Book of Not, could have been called The Book of Knot, as she ties herself up in seeking approval and trying to adapt to the requirements of the colonial (convent) education she’s been gifted.
    And then in This Mournable Body, she’s clutching at threads, neither gaining traction with the advantages she’s been given, nor able to gracefully admit defeat. An unlikeable self-loathing protagonist, and in my opinion brilliantly portrayed.

    I did find it hard to write about the third book, unable to articulate the strong feeling it generated, so I left it to Dangarembga by including extracts from her interview with Sara Collins. I really hope it wins, it demands something from the reader a d the second person narrative, though uncomfortable, is effective in putting you inside the mind of Tambudzai, no matter the discomfort.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s