University of Zimbabwe
German Film and Television Academy
(A sequel to Nervous Conditions, this is a powerful and en...)
A sequel to Nervous Conditions, this is a powerful and engaging story about one young woman’s quest to redefine the personal and political forces that threaten to engulf her. As its title suggests, this is also a book about denial and unfulfilled expectations and about the theft of the self that remains one of colonialism’s most pernicious legacies. The novel disrupts any comfortable sense of closure to the dilemmas of colonial modernity explored in Nervous Conditions and as such is a fitting sequel.
(A searing novel about the obstacles facing women in Zimba...)
A searing novel about the obstacles facing women in Zimbabwe, by one of the country’s most notable authors Anxious about her prospects after leaving a stagnant job, Tambudzai finds herself living in a run-down youth hostel in downtown Harare. For reasons that include her grim financial prospects and her age, she moves to a widow’s boarding house and eventually finds work as a biology teacher. But 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. In This Mournable Body, Tsitsi Dangarembga returns to the protagonist of her acclaimed first novel, Nervous Conditions, to examine how the hope and potential of a young girl and a fledgling nation can sour over time and become a bitter and floundering struggle for survival. As a last resort, Tambudzai takes an ecotourism job that forces her to return to her parents’ impoverished homestead. It is this homecoming, in Dangarembga’s tense and psychologically charged novel, that culminates in an act of betrayal, revealing just how toxic the combination of colonialism and capitalism can be.
Dangarembga studied medicine at Cambridge University but returned home soon after Zimbabwe was internationally recognised in 1980. She took up psychology at the University of Zimbabwe and became a member of a drama group. She then continued her education later in Berlin at the German Film and Television Academy, where she studied film direction and produced several film productions, including a documentary for German television.
Dangarembga started her career, working as a copywriter for a marketing agency, while she still was a student. During that time she also discovered her love of theater. She wrote several plays that were put into production at the university. In 1983, her play The Lost of the Soil got the attention of Robert McLaren, and Dangarembga joined his theater group, Zambuko. While involved in this groups she participated in the production of two plays, “Katshaa!” and “Mavambo.”
Dangarembga also explored prose writing. In 1985, she published a short story in Sweden called "The Letter". In 1987, she published the play She Does Not Weep in Harare. At the age of 25, she had her first taste of success with her novel Nervous Conditions, published in 1988.
Two years later she went to Berlin to continue her education and produced several film productions, including a documentary for German television. She also made the film Everyone's Child, shown worldwide including at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.
Dangarembga returned to Zimbabwe with her family in 2000 to work at Nuyerai Films, the film production company she founded in Harare. She is also the executive director of Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe and is the founding director of the Women’s Film Festival of Harare. She founded the International Images Film Festival in 2002 in response to the proliferation of beauty contests at that time, to provide diverse narratives by and about women.
Now Dangarembga works as a freelance writer and filmmaker, living in Harare, Zimbabwe.
(A searing novel about the obstacles facing women in Zimba...)2018
(A sequel to Nervous Conditions, this is a powerful and en...)2006