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Rotten Row

Petina Gappah

Petina Gappah returns with another collection of stories, exploring modern Zimbabwe

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It is just after nine o’clock in the morning. Gidza will die in exactly forty-three minutes and thirteen seconds.
‘Rotten Row’ is the Criminal Division of Harare, and the courts and the unfortunates who pass through them are the subjects of this mesmerising collection of stories. In these portraits of lives aching for meaning and redemption, Petina Gappah crosses the barriers of class, race, gender and sexual politics in contemporary Zimbabwe, to explore the causes and effects of crime and the nature of justice.

Critic Reviews

Gappah’s short stories depict contemporary Zimbabwe as a place of both reassuring normality and unnerving extremes. She exposes the venality, criminality and hypocrisy, but always with mordant humour.

Rebecca Rose, Financial Times Books of the Year
Critic Reviews

Intelligent, witty and incisive.

The Times
Critic Reviews

Does for Harare now what Dickens did for Victorian London, with lethal comic relish and rage.

Helen Simpson, Observer 'Books of the Year'
Critic Reviews

Stories that throb with life and meaning.

Critic Reviews

Gappah’s narratives have a resilient lightness and bounce.

Phil Baker, Sunday Times
Critic Reviews

Gappah’s writing is intelligent, witty and incisive.

Kate Saunders, The Times

Petina Gappah is an international lawyer and writer who was born in Kitwe, Zambia and raised in Zimbabwe. She is the author of An Elegy for Easterly, The Book of Memory and Rotten Row. Her work has shortlisted for, among others, the Orwell Prize, the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the PEN America…

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