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Zonipha is a rural girl newly inaugurated into the city as a domestic worker. Ambitious but righteous, she seeks to improve herself. Life disagrees and Zonipha finds herself ensnared by an abusive man, her employer. Unable to escape, she falls pregnant with a child who can never know his father, and following her unhappy decision will never know his mother. Fate intervenes at a tuckshop when Eugenia, who has longed for child, discovers the abandoned baby. In doing so, she pioneers a movement that seems to defy culture as she tries to encourage the idea of adoption. For Want of a Totem explores the meaning of family and what it means to be a parent. If a child is abandoned, who must raise her. This short but moving novel raised important questions about culture and its adaptability as it responds to contemporary and sometimes contentious issues.
Acerca de Vivienne Ndlovu
Vivienne Ndlovu is an Irish Zimbabwean writer who works for SAFAIDS in Harare. Her fiction includes Waste not your Tears, and the short stories ‘Homecoming’ in Writing Still (2003), ‘Kurima’ in Writing Now (2005), and ‘Bare Bones’ in Women Writing Zimbabwe (2008).
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