LETTAH'S GIFT 2011 University of Queensland Press
"There is something miraculous, cleansing , about the rain. The smell of expectation, newness. Of hope. But then I'm reminded that the word cleansing can be anyone's metaphor. Murambatsvina. Gukurahundi. The removal of people, a different cleansing. Final solutions lurk in purity."
Graham Lang steps into the heart of modern-day africa in this compelling story of redemption and hope. Failed writer Frank Cole can barely remember Lettah. When his family left Zimbabwe, their beloved servant was gradually forgotten. Now, forty years on, Frank has been set a mysterious task in his mother’s will: he must find Lettah and deliver her bequest. What Frank finds is not the country of his childhood, but a place where memories of civil war and colonial injustice fester beneath the surface, where brutality stands for the law, where fear and farce preside. But in chaotic Bulawayo, Frank discovers life and humour among unlikely companions – friends from his youth and new acquaintances, old Rhodesians and young liberals, all those who stayed behind. As he pieces together Lettah’s fate, Frank begins to see the new Zimbabwe – and himself – in the delicate chemistry between meaning and hope.
"...written from a place of experience and truth." - Judith Whitfield, Newcastle Herald
"...uncomfortably close to some of Zimbabwe's "terrible cruelties", but it also provides a wonderfully reconciling sense of redemption..." - Ian McFarlane, Canberra Times
"...a poignant, painful novel, aware of the colonial legacy behind the horrors of Zimbabwe today, yet daring to hope against hope for a better future" - The Saturday Age
"...a brutal, emotional and exquisitely written book." - Ian Orchard, Adelaide Advertiser
"...a completely captivating story that left me sobbing..." - Suzanne O' Connor, Fan the Pages