Chenjerai Hove, Homeless. Sweet Home.

Chenjerai Hove, Homeless. Sweet Home.
A Memoir of Miami.

B&B Press. Miami 2011. 120 p. ISBN: 987-0-9839378-2-1

This is more than a book; it is a bouquet of flowers containing different species of writing; from reflexion to play sketches, mixed with short poems and notes. It looks similar to a sample of a great power in the nowhere of the world; a call into the world and for home: “I’m alive. Forget me not. Yes, in that appearance it is typical for a writer on the flight, away from home, confronted with new objects. It looks rather like a sketchbook that amasses all kind of material for later – perhaps.

It is a book like a woman’s bag, of a writer who collects all kind of impressions and experience. His world broadens, running from here to there, a mixed Europe, one from the missionary time, the other from the windy and fishy world of Norway and here the memories of the US and now just catching a taxi in Miami.. Even at the new world, hardly any greatness, all remains tiny, confused,; the author lost suddenly in a black suburb in search of African food. Always struggling with himself in order to keep some order and never loose the beauty, may it be even the cover of a book – a collected book from pieces but at least a well designed cover.

The best in this collection and well surrounded and protected the political and historical essays. Here is Hove at his best. All waiting for later in another land.

Even when you are on escape that damn ghost is always in your head: Mugabe, this former schoolmaster, only interested in the forefront of Potemkin villages.

When you are in exile you have either a lot of time or only short time. Just 5 lines for a poem. You are chased by the dogs in your mind, and when you rest nightmares start to come on board.

You get restless. Here a word, there a sentence, but never continuity until you go home. But where? You realize that with your departure also home got lost because every home is in your brain.

Lost in the Land of Opportunity. What a contradiction. African food but in Miami it tastes not sweet. Sweet home has disappeared. No sweetness is left. Your youth is gone. Your home is nowhere.

Hove wants apparently to penetrate the dictator’s mind. Chenjerai is furious but obsessed of the vileness of those spirits that followed him abroad. You can never forget, thus you have to take notes – for later, when the memoir is over and a new book with a beautiful cover is born.

This book is a document. In German I would characterize it so: In Grenzzonen gibt es Zwielicht (in border zones exists twilight).

 

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Al Imfeld© Juli 2012