Echoing Silences

Alexander Kanengoni


The book is out of print.


Munashe Mungate, the novel's main character, is a doubting man who is swept up in a wave of history in the Zimbabwean liberation war and its aftermath, and the effects on the psyche of the individuals who participated in it. Munashe's history is the story of the nation: a relentless and compelling history, from horror to some form of accountability and atonement. A guerilla is hounded by accusations of having sold out; a soldier allows his enemies to escape; the spirit medium of the lioness roars as the male protagonist speaks with the voice of the women he killed. The account shows the complexity of the period, and its effects: Munashe finally has no self - he is the war.


Poetic, somewhat magical and numinous, and full of harrowing reminiscences, Echoing Silences has quite a few unforgettable characters. That some are ghostly and flitting in their appearances fixes them even more firmly in our memories. - Chimalum Nwankwo, World Literature Today


Alexander Kanengoni was a Zimbabwean writer, formally a member of ZANLA, who took part in Zimbabwe's war for independence.