Publication Year: 2008
Published by: African Books Collective
In John Eppel’s Hatchings, gone is the narrative of the Rhodesian nation of Eppel’s first novel The Great North Road. Gone too is the distance that separated white ‘Rhodies’ from the ‘natives’. More representative of the nation, the characters in this novel are from all races and walks of life. Hatchings is also different from The Great North Road in that Eppel presents...
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Elizabeth Fawkes was turning sixteen. She was going into her Lower Sixth
year at a co-ed private school called Black Rhino High. She was a
Initially, the Board who started the school wanted to call it White Rhino High but the Ministry of Education, according to Board Member and garage owner, Strontium Twot, accused them of racism. This was in 1986, when the...
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Boland Lipp was celebrating his fiftieth birthday by leaving his pupils’ exercise books in the back of his 1967 VW Beetle, by unplugging the telephone and by listening to excerpts from Bach’s Matthäus Passion. He was sipping, savouring, neat scotch - Dimple Haig - from the modified skull of a large rodent: probably a porcupine. Jesus was singing: “Ihr habet allezeit...
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Rudolph McMackmack had eyes like catherine wheels. His wife, Doef, was a frequent folder, in public places, of thighs so fat and dimpled that if you were sitting opposite her at a cocktail party, say, and she used the hem of her dress - a mustard coloured crimplene, very likely - to clean her spectacles - not by bending down to the hem, you understand, but by pulling it up to the...
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The Fawkes’ garden in Hillside was one of the few gardens without working boreholes that did not look like a desert. That was because Philippa, her friends called her Gay, planted only indigenous things - not just trees, but bushes, shrubs, flowers - even grasses. Their brick under tin house, on an acre stand, had been built round about the turn of the century. They were...
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Ingeborg Ficker, Bulawayo’s premier artist, was holding a party for friends and fellow artists, at her farm off the Old Gwanda Road. Anybody who was anybody in Matabeleland’s premier city would be there: ex-pat aid workers, South African refugees, ex-dissidents, rogue politicians, homosexuals, dope addicts, actors, serial killers, and writers...
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Elizabeth could not get back to sleep. She had kicked off her blanket and was lying on her back with her arms folded behind her head. Both her parents were snoring. She stared up at the roof of the tent. It might have been the egg inside her bra that kept her awake; it might have been the mild indigestion she felt from having eaten too much relish at supper time - all...
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“Es war aber allda Maria Magdalena, und die andere Maria, die setzen sich gegen das grab….” The crystalline voice of Peter Pears, the Evangelist, in the closing stages of Bach’s Matthäus Passion. Boland Lipp had the volume turned down, too low for his taste, but he did not want to risk another sherry bottle. He had had to close all the windows and doors in the...
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Lunch was being served at last. Doef looked at her watch: it was half-past three. The intense heat of the day was over. Shadows lengthened across the lawn. Her husband had fallen asleep in his deck-chair, snoring like a tractor. No one, and there must have been a hundred guests at the party, was paying the slightest bit of attention to them - not even their host and hostess...
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The buck’s fizz had run out but there was enough beer and wine, Ingeborg Ficker boasted, to float a battleship. And they’d made quite a dent in the ox. Ingeborg’s labourers - sorry, guests - stood by with carving knives and long forks, ready to attend to the needs of the revellers, of whom Jealous Umbankwa’s was the greatest. None of your slices for Jealous; he insisted on...
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Elizabeth woke to the good smell of bacon sizzling. She was alone in the tent. Both her parents were early risers - even on holiday. She yawned and stretched herself; then she reached for her Bible and found the twenty third psalm. She read it aloud, quietly, to herself. Her early morning voice was a little raspy, but sweet. When she had read it through, she closed her Bible...
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Nobody is denying that there was a strong streak of prurience in Boland Lipp. He indulged in lewd ideas, especially in bed, once he had turned off his reading light. Don’t be surprised, if ever you get the opportunity to look through his bookshelves, when you find there copies of shockers such as The Story of O, The Perfumed Garden, and Fanny Hill, not to mention the...
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Anybody who was (or was about to become) anybody in Bulawayo and surrounding districts was present at the Old Year’s Night party thrown by the desirable Cocks. They were very proud of their home in the Eastern Suburbs, which they’d bought in the early eighties for seven thousand dollars and which was now insured for half a million dollars. True, they’d upgraded the...
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The Fawkes family were surprised to find several policemen and women waiting for them when they got home. “We’ve been burgled,” was Philippa’s initial response. They had been burgled: by their domestic worker, Mrs Amazambane, who had helped herself to five fowls - two grey and three black Australorps - a pink dress belonging to ‘the madam’, three boxes of...
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January 19 arrived with overcast skies threatening rain. Just what Bulawayo needed if the city was going to survive until the next season. The water from the taps was beginning to taste like mud, with a suggestion of barbel. Because of stringent rationing, not enough water was running through the sewers and they were regularly becoming blocked, not only by paper and...
Page Count: 136
Publication Year: 2008