This social biography illuminates 100 years of family history in Western Zimbabwe from the colonial period to the present. At the heart of the book are the life histories of several generations of Kalanga men and women in a single extended family, the family of Lupondo. Lupondo's family are active agents throughout the book, marshalling their own concepts of character, family morality and public authority to contend with the colonial world and its post-colonial heritage. "Tears of the Dead" is their own heritage, from generation to generation, both of endurance and of empowerment in the face of large scale eviction, displacement from home, the threat of imposed resettlement, guerrilla war and near starvation in a food blockade. Going beyond the critical analysis of political and social history, the book, as a narrative study, discloses the force of rhetoric in family discourse, showing how different family members use distinctive styles of narrative to fit their rapport with the anthropologist, their personal image or sense of self and their place in the family.
More broadly, the focus is on the moral imagination through which family members themselves accounted for the impact of colonialism and its aftermath in the rise of "quasi-nationalism" during decolonialization.
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(234mm x 156mm x 20mm)
Edinburgh University Press
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
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