[Ppnews] New book by former PP - Announcing James Kilgore’s 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 
(with Excerpt)


June 3rd, 2009 by Emily

[James Kilgore was recently released from California State Prison]

James Kilgore

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

Chapter 2

'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 
Wis-consin, sir.'

'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.

Book details
    * 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!

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