Hairdresser of Harare by Tendai Huchu

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When the truth dawns as to his character...her impulse to seek revenge for what must feel like humiliation is shockingly convincing. Vimbai is the creation of an unusually astute and unflinching writer.
-Guardian

Synopsis


In this delicious and devastating first novel, which The Guardian named one of its ten best contemporary African books, Caine Prize finalist Tendai Huchu (The Maestro, the Magistrate, and the Mathematician) portrays the heart of contemporary Zimbabwean society with humor and grace.

Vimbai is the best hairdresser in Mrs. Khumalo’s salon, and she is secure in her status until the handsome, smooth-talking Dumisani shows up one day for work. Despite her resistance, the two become friends, and eventually, Vimbai becomes Dumisani’s landlady. He is as charming as he is deft with the scissors, and Vimbai finds that he means more and more to her. Yet, by novel’s end, the pair’s deepening friendship—used or embraced by Dumisani and Vimbai with different futures in mind—collapses in unexpected brutality.

The novel is an acute portrayal of a rapidly changing Zimbabwe. In addition to Vimbai and Dumisani’s personal development, the book shows us how social concerns shape the lives of everyday people.

 

About Tendai Huchu

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Tendai Huchu was born in 1982 in Bindura, Zimbabwe. He attended Churchill High School in Harare and then went to the University of Zimbabwe to study Mining Engineering in 2001. He dropped out in the middle of the first semester when he discovered that the maths had more letters and symbols than it had numbers. Tendai has a great love of literature, in particular the nineteenth century Russian novel. He is now a qualified podiatrist and lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.
 
Published January 1, 2010 by Jacana Media. 189 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Guardian

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Reviewed by Jane Housham on Mar 08 2013

When the truth dawns as to his character...her impulse to seek revenge for what must feel like humiliation is shockingly convincing. Vimbai is the creation of an unusually astute and unflinching writer.

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