Monday, 5 September 2011

NERVOUS CONDITIONS by Tsitsi Dangarembga

I've reviewed NERVOUS CONDITIONS for Africa Book Club here.

It's an engaging novel about a girl from a poor rural background who is given the opportunity to have an expensive western education, and about the difficulties and possibilities that education brings with it.

I found it to be a sophisticated little book, though I was fascinated by the strong sense throughout the story that having to add a new culture into your experience is inherently negative. In the diasporized Zimbabwe of today, this view seems sort of charmingly antiquated. Nowadays, you're never more of the Zimbabwean zeitgeist than when you live in South Africa, so to suggest that leaving home is such a big deal seems very sweetly of the innocent eighties.


  1. Nice review, Sarah! I love the cover and the author's name. 'Tsitsi' sounds so beautiful! I read your longer review at Africa Book club and I loved it. I think the book might be still authentic and real to someone who comes from a rural part of a country and undergoes big transformatory experiences while she / he is growing up. I want to read this book. I will add this to my 'TBR' list. Thanks for this wonderful review and thanks for introducing a new fascinating writer to us.

  2. I think you are right - for many poor rural people this is still a very real experience - it's a good point. You should try the book - it's really very nicely done.

  3. I read this early this year. I plan to read the sequel 'The Book of Not' this month. I had a tiny bit of problem with it though.

  4. OOh really! I must click through to your blog to see what you said. Dying to know!