This Mournable Body – Tsitsi Dangarembga – Audible Book Review
This Mournable Body By: Tsitsi Dangarembga
Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo – Length: 11 hrs and 32 mins
This book was nominated for the Booker prize last year, before eventually losing out to Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart. It tells the story of Tambudzai, a young woman trying to find her place in the world. She lives in Harare, the largest city in Zimbabwe in a widow’s boarding house along with an assortment of individuals on the fringes of society. Despite having a college education behind her, she struggles to find employment. She recently quit a dead end job as a copywriter for an advertisement firm and is regretting her decision. She eventually finds a job as a Biology teacher in a local secondary school, a job for which she has no formal education and little aptitude. She slowly finds herself pushed to breaking point.
Tsitsi Dangarembga is a novelist, playwright, and filmmaker who was born in Zimbabwe in 1959. Her first novel, Nervous Conditions, was published in 1988. It was the first novel to be published in English by a Black woman from Zimbabwe. It is a semi-autobiographical novel, set in the late 60s and 70s in Rhodesia. The book was the first part of the trilogy, which includes The Book of Not (2006) and This Mournable Body.
The story has many twists and turns as we follow Tambudzai in the different segments of her life. She’s a nervous individual and is constantly second guessing herself, wondering if she has made the right decisions. There is no cohesive narrative to it, but instead the plot mimics real life, with many changes and side steps along the way. The book is read by Adenrele Ojo who gives great life and credence to the various characters.