Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Book of Memory

The Book of Memory, by Petina Gappah

Memory is in prison for murder.  She is the only woman on death row in the Harare prison, and her lawyer has asked her to write down everything, to be sent to an advocate in America, in hopes of getting an appeal.  So Memory writes for her life, starting with the day her parents sold her to a white man when she was nine years old -- the same man she is in prison for murdering.  But even Memory does not know the whole story of her life.

It's a really good novel, and Memory's account is full of fascination.  She jumps back and forth, talking about her childhood with her family, as an albino child in a slum, then to life in the Harare prison, then to her adolescence in Lloyd's care, where she was given an excellent education but had little explained to her.  She keeps coming back to the same questions: why did Lloyd buy her?  Why did her family give her away? and does not expect ever to know.

Good stuff.  I recommend it.

PS This book is, of course, for Zimbabwe in the Read All Around the World project, and it's also book #11 in my original list of 20 Books for Summer.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So glad you liked this! I thought it was terrific, and I'm excited for whatever this author's going to do next. I feel so lucky to have such an awesome array of African authors being published these days.