We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Short Writings from Bulawayo III

Jane Morris

Publication Year: 2008

Short Writings from Bulawayo won the Literature in English category at the 2005 Zimbabwe Book Publishers Association awards. It is a book of stories, poems and non-fiction pieces that are evocative of Zimbabwe's second city and its rural surroundings. The collection from 23 contributors tells of many things: of family and friendship, or fear and death, or witches and spirits, of hunger and drought, of dreams and aspirations, of leaving home and leaving Zimbabwe, of queues and loneliness, of football and bicycles and of growing old and of love. A unifying theme of many of the stories and poems is loss - of innocence, of purpose, of love, of culture, of belonging, and of life.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (162.8 KB)

Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (29.7 KB)

read more

The Boy with a Crooked Head

pdf iconDownload PDF (36.6 KB)
pp. 1-6

So I sit here. I am just as useless as my Uncle Vikitha who disappeared three days ago. There were soldiers here. Soldiers with radios that went sh…sh…sh… most . . .

read more

The Rhythm of Life

pdf iconDownload PDF (30.7 KB)
pp. 7-9

The day the rains started, Pattie’s son died. It was the fifteenth of November. Craig swore they’d start that day. ‘Half way through November’ was what he always said; . . .

read more

Cain and Abel

pdf iconDownload PDF (54.3 KB)
pp. 10-17

Cain sat, perched on the wooden bench outside Sango’s bottle store gulping his favourite traditional beer and contemplating murder. Two young boys were playing mini . . .

Sonnet with One Unstated Line

pdf iconDownload PDF (25.8 KB)
p. 18-18

read more

Your Burden

pdf iconDownload PDF (44.0 KB)
pp. 19-21

You cannot hear the purple petals singing lullabies to you. They are floating in the air as they fall from the green canopy onto the hospital’s red painted corrugated iron . . .

read more

The Concert

pdf iconDownload PDF (48.0 KB)
pp. 22-26

Had I decided to go into music, the world would never have heard of Joseph Shabalala and his Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Mother says long before I could talk, my singing . . .

Butterflies Drift into the Edges of our City Life

pdf iconDownload PDF (38.6 KB)
p. 27-27

read more

The Ambulance

pdf iconDownload PDF (32.2 KB)
pp. 28-31

It had become something of a ritual for the neighbourhood to stop and watch the ambulance go boiling up the hill. There had been no fuel for nine months and so the sight . . .

read more

Paying to Die

pdf iconDownload PDF (44.8 KB)
pp. 32-35

Dying is not easy. That probably explains why some end up killing themselves violently. Death has a bad habit of sniffing at you, going round in circles, sizing you . . .

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (49.5 KB)
pp. 36-41

The aging man studied his long bony fingers. The drying, tough skin stretched ever more tenuously across them, revealing little about the use to which he had put . . .

Ode to Departed Writers

pdf iconDownload PDF (28.5 KB)
pp. 42-44

read more

Jock Sherlaw

pdf iconDownload PDF (39.1 KB)
pp. 45-51

His sign board, which is egg-yellow lettering (a sort of rakish, hand-drawn italic) on a white background, has seen better days in more senses than one. It is now well worn . . .

read more

Uncle Benny

pdf iconDownload PDF (34.3 KB)
pp. 52-56

Darkness slowly began to crowd the room where I sat wondering when Uncle Benny was going to come. Fullness and emptiness almost equally shared the space that . . .

read more

A Secret Place

pdf iconDownload PDF (49.5 KB)
pp. 57-62

It was Saturday night when Franky died and the moon was everywhere. I was watching tv with Mary in the living room when the doorbell rang. I thought . . .

read more

id i

pdf iconDownload PDF (57.8 KB)
pp. 63-72

A thick cloud of dust creeps over the houses. From under the barber’s thorn tree, one can see the green finger of a pine pointing accusingly at the afternoon sky above the corrugated . . .

read more

A Matter of Statistics

pdf iconDownload PDF (48.5 KB)
pp. 73-77

Living in Bulawayo and working in Gwanda. For the Development Worker that meant a comfortable rented house with pool in the posh suburb of Kumalo and a . . .

Drinking with Hitler

pdf iconDownload PDF (38.9 KB)
p. 78-78

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (36.8 KB)
pp. 79-84

MaMoyo did not remember how she got home. She and MaSibanda had never expected this. As mothers on their own they had pooled their resources and survived, getting . . .

read more

Another Day

pdf iconDownload PDF (49.0 KB)
pp. 85-90

The gardener came and knocked on the bedroom window early in the morning. Irritated, Trevor, shirtless, went to peer outside. He had already warned the gardener not . . .

read more

Pay Day

pdf iconDownload PDF (44.0 KB)
pp. 91-93

Somewhere in the streets and avenues of my city, there is the screeching of brakes accompanied by wild insults and vulgar curses. There is the swishing of women’s dresses, . . .


pdf iconDownload PDF (26.8 KB)
pp. 94-95

read more

Tearing the Curtain

pdf iconDownload PDF (51.7 KB)
pp. 96-102

This is my sixth quart of Lion Lager. I am beginning to get drunk. I hardly ever drink these days, beer, like everything else in this country, being so viciously expensive. Being . . .

read more

Home Sweet Home

pdf iconDownload PDF (32.6 KB)
pp. 103-106

When Grant Terrier heard that his father, Foxie, and last remaining relative in Zimbabwe, had died at the Edith Duly Home for the elderly, he decided to revisit his . . .

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (45.5 KB)
pp. 107-110

The naked child materialized from the bush and walked with determination towards us. My wife gave me an uneasy glance and moved back a step. Perhaps she thought . . .

The Matriarch

pdf iconDownload PDF (25.8 KB)
p. 111-111

read more

The Harare Hermit

pdf iconDownload PDF (45.0 KB)
pp. 112-115

As I melt into the Harare crowd, I become defensive. I take on a Hararean consciousness. Everyone in Harare is a potential thief, not so much by design or want, but by some . . .

read more

The Road

pdf iconDownload PDF (34.1 KB)
pp. 116-120

The green lawns, that once surrounded the TB hospital, had turned into desert and the flower beds, that had ameliorated the suffering of the inpatients, looked . . .

read more

The Silent Prince

pdf iconDownload PDF (31.7 KB)
pp. 121-124

The man sat pensively, his restless hands constantly moving. Glistening beads of sweat rolled down his face. Although his head was bowed, he was listening intently to the . . .

read more

The Request

pdf iconDownload PDF (37.1 KB)
pp. 125-130

Confidence drew his pen to the top of the page. He lowered its nib slowly, counting the handwritten figures under his breath as he went along. Halfway down, his problem . . .


pdf iconDownload PDF (25.8 KB)
p. 131-131

read more

The Jazz Goblin and His Rhythm

pdf iconDownload PDF (52.5 KB)
pp. 132-138

Independence Day, Wednesday, 18 April 2001. I still remember the morning clearly enough. Save for my suitcase and sax, the bulk of my grubby belongings were still . . .

read more

One by One My Leaves Fall

pdf iconDownload PDF (32.5 KB)
pp. 139-142

“We are gathered here today to pay our last respects to our departed sister. She has been a friend to most of us, a shining light in the community, but above all a . . .


pdf iconDownload PDF (63.3 KB)
pp. 143-149

Back Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF (730.8 KB)

E-ISBN-13: 9780797443358
Print-ISBN-13: 9780797431317

Page Count: 156
Publication Year: 2008