The Mupandawana Dancing Champion
The Mupandawana Dancing Champion is the first of three stories selected from An Elegy for Easterly, Zimbabwean writer Petina Gappah's debut collection and winner of the Guardian First Book Award for 2009. Today - just outside Harare, in Mupandawana, a nimble footed coffin maker enjoys a little local celebrity, and some relief from the daily struggle to make ends meets. However, a political intervention cramps his style.
Each of the three stories selected from An Elegy For Easterly are acutely observed, powerful and poignant. They are populated by characters struggling to live in Mugabe's Zimbabwe, who despite the hardships of their everyday lives, are also resilient and imaginative, and not without a wry sense of humour.
Writer: Petina Gappah is a Zimbabwean writer with law degrees from Cambridge, Graz University and the University of Zimbabwe. Her short fiction and essays have been published in eight countries.
Reader: Reader: Lucian Msamati has been appearing in Clybourne Park in London's West End.