the Book of Not by Tsitsi Dangarembga (2006)

This is the sequel to Nervous Conditions and it starts off in Tambu’s second year in secondary education while Zimbabwe is still Rhodesia. Tambu doesn’t fit in anywhere, she is too smart for her family in the village, too European for the other five black girls at the school and the white girls are afraid of touching her. In the second year at the school she witnesses her sister losing a leg at a political meeting back in her village. The war for independence is making Tambu very nervous and she is struggling at school.

I loved Nervous Conditions and Tambu because she was such a strong girl, aiming high and achieving her goals. In the sequel she is completely lost, and cannot even speak up for herself any longer. While Nervous Conditions was all about the family, the sequel is more focused on the political background. And I missed the family, especially her uncle’s family.

I’m waiting for the next book about Tambu to be written as it simply cannot end this way.

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