Windows into Zimbabwe Launch Ambassador Thorsten Hutter address

Ladies and gentlemen, 

Dear authors, and friends and readers of books,

 

We are here today to launch the book “Windows into Zimbabwe” published by Weaver Press represented by Irene Staunton.

Over the past fifteen years, Weaver Press has published seven anthologies with over 100 short stories of established and new Zimbabwean writers. 

In “Windows into Zimbabwe”, Professor Jürgen Kramer and Franziska Kramer, father, and daughter, and both from Germany have selected 23 short stories from these anthologies. Anthologies that they consider to be the representative of a particular period in Zimbabwean history since 1980.

Writers such as Petina Gappah, Charles Mungoshi, and NoViolet Bulawayo are included as well as newcomers with fresh voices.

A short story, and I quote, “is a brief work of fiction, usually written in prose, and running 1,600 to 20,000 words in length. The literary roots of the short story can be found in oral storytelling and traditions such as anecdotes, fables, and fairy tales.”

Short stories are less complex than novels, have a single plot with a limited number of characters covering a short period of time. By nature, short stories are more accessible to a variety of readers than full-length novels. Short stories are their own art form and as such they deserve respect. In a short story, every word counts.

Whether it is a short story or a novel: the best ones, the most memorable ones, present fresh and intriguing views on human nature, on human relationships, on the relationships between the individual, society, and Government. If you look at it this way, literature is like a key that unlocks your understanding of society. 

Or, it is indeed, like a window, and as such, “Windows into Zimbabwe” is a most appropriate title for this anthology.  

Since the anthology touches upon numerous facets of Zimbabwe’s recent history, it is a fantastic introduction for foreigners like me to better grasp the reality of this beautiful country in all its aspects.  

My favorite short story in this anthology is “Mainini Grace’s promise” by Valerie Tagwira. It is about…. No, I won’t spoil it! But you may ask Valerie Tagwira herself about her short story, because she is here, together with numerous other authors who feature in this anthology. Please raise your hands, and please give them a big hand!

Some stories are somber, some are depressing, but more often than not, they poke fun at people. If you read “Gold digger” by Albert Gumbo, you will realize what I mean. These stories are all good!

Lastly, like everywhere, literature has a commercial and pecuniary element. Authors and publishers need to make a living. The book comes at a good price, and it is a must for your libraries. Looking ahead at the Christmas season, I believe it will look good as a Christmas gift. Because “Windows into Zimbabwe” tells us of the rich history of Zimbabwean literature. You should and you can be proud of it. 

 

Thank you!