My thoughts on the ‘Book of Memory’ by Petina Gappah
The Book of Memory is a story that weaves through the life of a Zimbabwean albino woman convicted and sentenced to death for killing her white foster father. Narrated by the albino woman Memory, she writes her life story in her diaries in an attempt to secure another appeal for her case.
The life of Memory of which the book is centered around takes the reader on a whirlwind tour, as the story flits between her earliest memories with her family in an impoverished township and her new life with her white foster father in a white suburb in Harare.
Filled with regret, sadness and contempt towards her parents for giving her up and her foster father for buying her from her parents, Memory explores her feelings as she writes, trying to understand the reasons that brought her to the infamous prison ‘Chikurubi’ in Harare.
A book with a satirical leaning, it makes fun of characters like corrupt female jailers, quirky female prisoners, politicians and the privileged rich communities of both blacks and whites in Harare.
Told from the perspective and memories of an Albino woman, Memory as a novel gives a voice and a face to the many Albino people in Africa, who are not only undermined but also face violence and danger because of the stigma that comes with their rare skin condition.
Interested? Then you can find the novel on Amazon