[Ppnews] New book by former PP - Announcing James Kilgores We are All Zimbabweans Now
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jun 5 10:57:22 EDT 2009
James Kilgore's We are All Zimbabweans
June 3rd, 2009 by Emily
[James Kilgore was recently released from California State Prison]
We are All Zimbabweans Now
Umuzi proudly announces the release of We Are All Zimbabweans Now by
James Kilgore. Written from a California prison cell by this one-time
fugitive author, the book occupies an important place amongst the
fictional chronicles of post-independence Zimbabwe.
<http://book.co.za/bookfinder/ean/9781415200711>We are All
Zimbabweans Now tells the story of young American historian Ben
Dabney who arrives in Harare in 1981, full of admiration for Robert
Mugabe and Zimbabwe's policy of reconciliation. His euphoria in this
country he calls the "Land of Forgiveness" heightens when he becomes
involved with disabled ex-freedom fighter Florence Matshaka who
connects him with the emerging black elite.
His research, however, takes him down a different path. When he
explores the case of a liberation war leader who died in a mysterious
car accident, he receives elusive answers, then threats. An interview
with a teacher in rural Matabeleland, propels him into the middle of
the army's offensive against "dissidents" and civilians in that part
of the country. As he delves more into his research the dangers
deepen and the connections of Florence to mysteries past and present
force Ben to confront difficult decisions about career, love,
parenting and political principle.
We are All Zimbabweans Now is an accomplished and compelling novel.
While written in the style of a detective thriller, the story deftly
analyzes the complex struggles for power in post-independence Africa.
The characters and events of this fascinating tale will resonate
loudly for South Africans as well as those familiar with Zimbabwe.
Read an excerpt from We are All Zimbabweans Now
'Which hotel, sir?' the taxi driver asks as he closes the trunk of
his gleam-ing yellow Datsun. The latch catches on the third try.
'King George the Sixth,' I reply.
'The King George, sir,' he answers as if he hasn't heard correctly.
I sit in the back with the Hermes on my lap. Although a plastic piece
is missing from the window crank, the silver handle shines like a
place setting at a Christmas dinner. The driver picks up a piece of
towelling and wipes it across the dashboard, chasing away imaginary
dust. The steer-ing wheel on the right has me disoriented. I look out
the window for murals of heroic guerrilla fighters or billboards with
Mugabe's face. The yellowing facade of Harare International Airport
bears no odes to the Chimurenga, as the Zimbabweans call their
13-year liberation war.
The driver pulls a lever and the meter ticks like an angry metronome.
'Your car smells new,' I tell him.
'We are trying our level best, sir,' he answers. 'These days things
are so tough.'
'We don't know if the Europeans will keep coming,' he responds. As we
pull out of the parking lot, he puts on black-framed sunglasses. A
strip of masking tape holds one of the sidepieces together.
'Is this your first time in Zimbabwe, sir?' he asks.
'My first time outside the United States.'
'You are from America, sir?'
'Yes, Wisconsin. A very cold place in the Midwest.'
'I think at school we once learned that they produce cheese in
'That's right. Wisconsin is famous for cheese and the Green Bay Packers.'
Despite his politeness, I'm starting to worry about the driver. I
don't see many people or houses. I've asked no one about taxis or
crime. I am at his mercy in this land of reconciliation.
'Sir, what's a Packer?' he asks.
'It's a football team,' I reply. 'It's a little hard to explain.' A
stadium full of freezing people with their faces painted yellow and
green is hard to explain.
reading (pdf download)
About the author
James Kilgore first made news in South Africa when he was arrested in
Cape Town in 2002. He had been living under the alias Dr. John Pape
and become a respected academic at the University of Cape Town. U.S.
authorities extradited him to California where he served six and a
half years in prison. He was released 10 May 2009.
Kilgore grew up in California and lived in the volatile San Francisco
Bay Area during the late 60s and early 70s. He became immersed in
left-wing politics, eventually linking up with the Symbionese
Liberation Army (SLA). His involvement with the SLA led to an
indictment for possession of explosives in 1975. Kilgore then fled
the law for 27 years, living in Zimbabwe, Australia and South Africa.
He abandoned the politics violence, focusing on a career as an
educator. He resided in Harare, the site of We Are All Zimbabweans
Now, from 1982-91. There he met his wife, Terri and also wrote a
doctoral dissertation on the history of domestic workers in Zimbabwe.
From Harare Kilgore and Terri moved to South Africa where he worked
as an educator and director for both Khanya College in Johannesburg
and the International Labour Research and Information Group (ILRIG)
in Cape Town. He earned a reputation as a champion of workers and the poor.
The author currently lives with Terri and their two sons, in
Illinois, U.S.A. We Are All Zimbabweans Now is his first novel and
his first publication under his real name. He is currently working on
manuscripts of seven other novels which he wrote during his
incarceration. Umuzi looks forward to a long and productive
relationship with this blossoming writer.
* We are All Zimbabweans Now by James Kilgore
* <http://www.umuzi-randomhouse.co.za/zimbabweans.html>Book homepage
* EAN: 9781415200711
* <http://book.co.za/bookfinder/ean/9781415200711>Find this book
with BOOK Finder!
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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