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To celebrate the publication of her novel Between Two Rivers, which is set in Zimbabwe, Tina Beattie is joined by a panel of authors to explore the challenges of writing about Africa from different perspectives of race, class, history and gender. Reviewing Between Two Rivers, Chiedza Musengezi writes:
The author inhabits characters across the barriers of race, class, gender and religion as they interact with each other. In doing so, she challenges the idea that one cannot and should not write beyond one’s own narrow frame of reference and experience; as if writers should not think out of the box, do research, and cannot empathise or show imagination.
Four writers who have spent many years in Zimbabwe explore the challenges of writing outside the box, imagining worlds that are not their own, and representing lives that fill in the gaps and contribute to the unfinished and unfolding story of southern Africa.
Chiedza Musengezi was born and raised in Zimbabwe and now lives in Northern Ireland. She is a short story writer, editor and teacher. One of her short stories can be found in Women Writing Zimbabwe (Weaver Press), and she is the editor of A Tragedy of Lives: women in prison in Zimbabwe (Weaver Press).
Kay Powell was born in Zambia and grew up in Zimbabwe. Her career in book publishing has included working for Faber & Faber and Macmillan, co-founding a Zimbabwean publishing company and later setting up a UK agency to provide publishing services to international development organisations. Her book on English usage, What Not to Write (Talisman, 2008) is now in its 9th edition, with more than 40,000 copies sold to date. Kay’s first novel, Then a Wind Blew (Weaver Press, 2021), focused on the experience of women in Zimbabwe’s liberation war. She lives near Cambridge, UK, with her husband, who is also a novelist.
Godess Bvukutwa is a feminist writer and social justice activist. She’s a mother of 3 girls and spends a significant amount of time packing lunchboxes and helping with homework. She is currently writing a story about three very different women and the roles they played in the 2008 election violence in Zimbabwe.
Tina Beattie is a Catholic theologian and broadcaster whose interests include feminism and gender theory. In addition to a number of academic publications, she has published two novels - The Good Priest (Troubador Publishers UK, 2019) and Between Two Rivers (Weaver Press, Zimbabwe, 2022). Tina was born and grew up in Lusaka, Zambia, and has also lived in Kenya and Zimbabwe. She now lives on the south coast of England with her husband Dave.