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.

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