Monday, 25 July 2011

The Dread Eye Detective Agency comes home...almost

I have been reliably informed that Uriah's Vengeance is now in the Innov8 Bookshops as Lion Press Ltd begins to penetrate the market back home. Now, all the remains to be seen is if Zimbabweans who have been whinging to me about how my books are not in the shops will put their money where their mouth is.

I sound cynical, but our people are not famous for supporting their own arts and culture. Indeed, many Zimbabwean writers only find themselves in the limelight after attention from western media. It is not even fair to call it limelight, it's just the Zimbabwean media trying to steal whatever crumbs of glory from another's table. And you thought it was just dogs that did that! Perhaps this is what Petina Gappah meant when she refused to be described as an "African author". With booksales abroad, and a British publisher, and relative obscurity in Zimbabwe, the tag doesn't fit properly.

So, like many of the authors in the Lion Press stable, I am watching but not raising my hopes up too high.

What I would really like to hear about is that my books are in stores in Chitungwiza, which is the town I call home and which is the setting of the Dread Eye Detective Agency. As the Ce-Ce and Farai become an international brand, I would like to see greater attention drawn to Chitungwiza, especially its Rastafarian community. Many Rastafarians there earn their living through arts and crafts, so perhaps a little tourism would help. I am open to suggestions, if any one has a bright idea, please share.