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  • Published: 15 May 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241544259
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $24.99

House of Hunger



'When all else fails, don't take it in silence: scream like hell, scream like Jericho was tumbling down, serenaded by a brace of trombones, scream'

Dambudzo Marechera burst onto the English literary scene with a bang in 1978 with this vivid roar of a book exploring township life in pre-independence Zimbabwe.

Irreverent and uncompromising, Dambudzo Marechera rejected what he saw as the narrow stereotypes of African literature, and was a fearless critic of his country. The narrator expresses his desperate alienation - from his family, from his student friends, from township life and from Zimbabwe itself. This novella, and the other short stories here, portray an explosive world that flashes with both violence and humour.

  • Published: 15 May 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241544259
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $24.99

About the author

Dambudzo Marechera

Dambudzo Marechera was born in 1952 in Vengere, the township of Rusape, in the east of what was then Rhodesia. He was the third of nine children in a family which became destitute once his father was killed in a road accident in 1966. he gained a scholarship to study at New College, Oxford, where he was sent down in 1976 to live out his exile in Britain in a succession of squats for another six years. He hammered out the first draft of The House of Hunger on his portable typewriter in a matter of weeks. It won the Guardian First Novel Prize and was translated into six languages. Marechera died in 1987 after being diagnosed with AIDS.

Praise for House of Hunger

A writer who considered fiction a 'form of combat', his work is complex, challenging - and uniquely potent

Chris Power, The Guardian

Like overhearing a scream

Doris Lessing

The metaphors are simultaneously so unclichéd and so apt that he reinvigorates the language

China Mieville on THE BOOKS THAT MADE ME

It is rare to find a writer for whom imaginative fiction is such a passionate and intimate process of engagement with the world. A terrible beauty is born out of the urgency of his vision

Angela Carter

A profound, even if exaggeratedly self-aware writer, an instinctive nomad and bohemian in temperament, Marechera was a writer in constant quest for his real self

Wole Soyinka

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