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“I really tried to put terrorism into a historical perspective, neither applauding their acts nor condemning them. The photographer does not take sides; he just takes the press photographs.” In an unspecified setting the stream-of-consciousness narrative of this cult novel traces the fortunes of a group of anarchists in revolt against a military-fascist-capitalist opposition. The protagonist is photojournalist Chris, whose camera lens becomes the device through which the plot is cleverly unraveled. In Dambudzo Marechera’s second experimental novel, he parodies African nationalist and racial identifications as part of an argument that notions of an ‘essential African identity’ were often invoked to authorize a number of totalitarian regimes across Africa. Such irreverent, avant-garde literature was criticized upon publication in Zimbabwe in 1980, and Black Sunlight was banned on charges of ‘Euromodernism’ and as a challenge to the concept of nation-building in the newly independent country.
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Dambudzo Marechera (1952-1987), an award-winning Zimbabwean author and poet, has been dismissed by some as mad and applauded by others as a genius. Famous for his unconventional life as much as for his work, more than 20 years after his death Marechera's work continues to inspire academic studies, biographies, films and plays.Review:
"Marechera uses a pattern of violent and pornographic images to create an extended metaphor on living in pre-independence Zimbabwe."-Library Journal
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