Here's the fourth installment in my blogging of the Caine shortlist, along with others in a ZunguZungu-led coterie of bloggers. The story I'm reviewing is Melissa Tandiwe Myambo's "La Salle de Depart" (pdf).
This is the first of the Caine stories which actually seeks to thoroughly understand the characters that it depicts. Fatima is wonderfully drawn, and in beautiful sentences and fantastic imagery that is both tender and unsparing in its honesty. What you get is a real economy in the sense that we are told everything we need to know about the characters to neither excuse nor rebuke them, but to understand them. You can almost see the tension as Fatima seeks the words to ask Ibou about Babacar, you see the resentment and even the inadequacy that goes into Ibou's rejection. In the salle de ... [view whole blog post ]