Cover

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pp. c-c

Title Page

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pp. i-i

Copyright Page

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pp. ii-iii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-10

It is at last a bright Saturday morning after a long, wet week. On a day like this, with no children at home to worry about, I ought to stay in bed until nine, wake up to cook my favourite meal, sit on the sofa with both legs placed on the table beside a bowl of popcorn, watching...

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Chapter One

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pp. 11-42

'One morning, not long from now you will wake up, look at that wall calendar behind your bed and realize that you are four days away from your fifty-eighth birthday and still unmarried and without a child,’ Mbenga Matindi Jonathan said as he planted his elbows on...

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Chapter Two

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pp. 43-58

When Sirri Atam was too depressed and saddled with a tormenting headache like the one beating drums in her head this moment, she freed her mind to rove and filter and bring to the surface some of Granny’s coarse words of consolation. As she collected her...

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Chapter Three

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pp. 59-82

Sadi usually sat for hours on a bench with a broken leg placed against the wall behind the ticket counter at Gare Routier Bonaberi praying for one more passenger to come. At times he stretched himself on the bench and slept. Whenever he felt sufficiently bored he joined the rest of...

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Chapter Four

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pp. 83-112

There was a frosty excitement in the air breathe by everyone, be they passersby or permanent inhabitants who walked the main street of Njopongo that week consciously watching out for abnormalities. The excitement had some solidity about it that seem to grip...

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Chapter Five

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pp. 113-124

While Zacheus Esingi and his volunteers might have been holding their own version of a crisis meeting in a stuffy small room with mosquitoes nibbling their feet, we were holding ours in Lord Mayor Mapito Lobe Cornelius’ mansion over bottles of wine...

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Chapter Six

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pp. 125-136

The creation mission wasn’t delivered with strings, Granny Joki Dibomba once said. Go ye forth into the whole wide world and multiply, was the simple instruction. No conditions hooked to it. No hidden traps. Just a free send-off into the wide green world....

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Chapter Seven

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pp. 137-160

It had been approximately two hours since it reluctantly stopped drizzling and the air was still thick with the cold wind now blowing in through the windows of Jet2 whose louvers Big Buggie Matts had resigned replacing. The inner walls of the drinking spot...

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Chapter Eight

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pp. 161-178

It was precisely three o’clock on Thursday that Bosco, the massive driver of the ox-blood coloured Toyota Corolla, at last decided his cab was full with four persons in the front seats and Zacheus and three others behind. Bosco himself sat comfortably with his drum-like belly rubbing...

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Chapter Nine

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pp. 179-207

After being chased in nightmares through all types of rough terrains smeared with blood from bleeding men, Zacheus woke up in a bath of sweat. It was still twilight when he smuggled himself out of Sadi’s house to his own, took a long bath and then took a motorcycle to the...

Back Cover

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pp. bc-bc