White Man Crawling is a collection of short stories and poems by the award winning Bulawayo writer John Eppel. His stories are uncomfortably funny; his poems uncomfortably sad. His stories speak first to all of us, then to his own quirky nature; his poems speak first to himself and to those few who know him nearly, and then to all of us. For more than forty years John Eppel has been a unique double-voice in the annals of Zimbabwean literature: the satirist and the lyricist.
It is New Year in Bulawayo, and anybody who is anybody is out celebrating. Hatchings, with an introduction by Khombe Mangwanda, was chosen by Professor Anthony Chennells in the Times Literary Supplement as his choice for the most significant book to have come out of Africa. "The story is simple. In a sentence it can be described as a love story centered on a young couple who discover the true power of love amid the social, economic and moral decay that threatens to swallow their love and everything else. But to say Hatchings is merely a love story would be criminal. It is more than that. Hatchings is a story about Bulawayo, about Zimbabwe, about corruption and cultural decay. In Hatchings John Eppel spares no one. With his sharp and yet witty pen he exposes corruption and pokes fun at those that are abusing power and this means literally everyone. Rich, poor, white, black , Indian, foreigner or local." - Raisedon Baya, Sunday News, Zimbabwe
A hilarious send-up of Enid Blyton adventure stories. It mocks fundamentalism, racism, and pseudo-intellectuality. The novel asks, in the most unlikely manner, for reconciliation among the blighted peoples of Zimbabwe.
A satirical novel about life in Zimbabwe's second city Bulawayo, with cults and muti murders, and the exploitation of the poor and powerless by the rich and powerful.
The Caruso of Colleen Bawn and Other Short Writings is a collection of short stories and poems from the Zimbabwean author John Eppel. The pieces range from poetry evocative of the sights, sounds and smells of the Zimbabwean bush and suburbia to bitingly satirical prose about present day Zimbabwe. Eppel has proved himself in both fields of writing, being awarded the M-Net Prize for fiction and the Ingrid Jonker Prize for poetry.
When Mr George loses his job teaching English at a private secondary school in Bulawayo, ëhis pension payout, after forty years of full-time service, bought him two jam doughnuts and a soft tomato.í When he backs his uninsured white Ford Escort into a brand new Mercedes Benz, the out-of-court settlement sees him giving up his house to the complainant, Beauticious Nyamayakanuna, and becoming her domestic servant. Through the prism of this engaging post-colonial role reversal, and spiced with Georgeís lessons on Shakespeare, John Eppel draws down the curtain on one particular white man in Africa. But before itís time to go, George will delight us with the antics of his literature classes; his various arrests ñ all timed to coincide with the police chiefís need for help with essays on Hamlet and A Grain of Wheat; his keen eye for flora and fauna; and the long trek back through the hundred years of his familyís Zimbabwean past, as he returns an abandoned child to her home. Eppel has satirized the racial politics of southern Africa in many of his previous novels. In Absent: The English Teacher he turns his gaze inwards for a generous and richly rewarding parody of the land of his birth.
Born in South Africa in 1947, John Eppel was raised in Zimbabwe, where he still lives, now retired, in Bulawayo. Eppelís poetry collections include Spoils of War, which won the Ingrid Jonker prize, Sonata for Matabeleland, Selected Poems: 1965 ñ 1995, Songs My Country Taught Me, and Landlocked: New and Selected Poems from Zimbabwe, which was a winner in the international Poetry Workshop Prize, Judged by Billy Collins. Furthermore he has collaborated with Philani Amadeus Nyoni in a collection called Hewn From Rock, and with Togara Muzanenhamo in a collection called Textures, which won the 2015 NOMA Award. He has published three collections of poetry and short stories: The Caruso of Colleen Bawn, White Man Crawling, and, in collaboration with the late Julius Chingono, Together. His single collection of short stories is entitled White Man Walking.
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