this mournable body by tsitsi dangarembga

”this mournable body” is not a happy book by any means. but don’t let that repel you. this is one of those books when 2020 booker prize makes perfect sense (i feel the need to specify this as there are instances where i personally don’t understand what virtues warranted a literary award).

the novel is written in second person, which is a rarity, especially for the long-form. generally i am sceptical of second person narration, but here it was executed brilliantly. instead of feeling like the book was monologuing at me, it was slowly wrapping the story around me, making me identify with the protagonist at a very fundamental level. by the time i realised that the protagonist is actually not a very nice person, albeit troubled, i already felt like i’m walking in her shoes, and thus was willing to extend way more empathy.

i recommend you to read this book if you want to learn about a massively different life, compared to your own, on the safe presumption that you are not a woman living in zimbabwe and struggling with major mental health problems exacerbated by poverty.