African Laughter by Doris May Lessing


My “To read all Nobel Prize in Literature” project brought me to Africa, Zimbabwe. Doris Lessing got the Nobel Prize in 2003.51EMG2HNSAL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_

This book was published in 1993. You get to see Zimbabwe through the eyes of one of the finest writers of this century. Doris Lessing was raised there after her family moved to Africa from Iran. Being banned for twenty-five years from her homeland, for her opposition to the government of what was then white Southern Rhodesia, she returns to a country she both knows and wants to get to know.

A combined diary, reportage and memoirs writing style keeps the reader entertained. Which is a must, given its 442 page richness.

If you are interested in development studies and history of the region this is a highly enlightening book. Everything from war, regional dimensions, politics, inter-racial relations, class relations, poverty, economics, agriculture, environment, infrastructure to colonialism, aid, education, local traditions, family and inter-personal relations, love, class and personal attitudes, roles of verandas are illustrated in their entire splendor and decadence.

Back to its title, my favorite part in the book is “And he shook with laughter, the marvelous African laughter born somewhere in the gut, seizing the whole body with good-humoured philosophy”. Made me want to share more good laughs with friends and family. Enjoy reading and laughing!

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