Talks

Windham-Campbell Prize Talk | This Mournable Body

Tsitsi Dangarembga’s three novels, Nervous Conditions (1988), The Book of Not (2006), and This Mournable Body (2018), have had an enormous impact on women’s writing in Africa and around the world. Dangarembga discusses these career-spanning novels in conversation with Courtney J. Martin, Paul Mellon Director, Yale Center for British Art.

About Tsitsi Dangarembga

Winner of the 2022 Windham-Campbell Literary Prize in Fiction, Dangarembga is a Zimbabwean novelist, playwright, and filmmaker who has emerged as one of the most significant voices in world Anglophone literature. Her three award-winning and critically acclaimed works of fiction, collectively known as the “Tambudzai trilogy,” tell the story of a young Shona woman named Tambudzoi (“Tambu”) as she moves between worlds: that of her impoverished, subsistence farmer parents; and that of her relatively affluent, British-educated aunt and uncle who run a missionary school. Stretching from late 1960s pre-independence Rhodesia to the postcolonial Zimbabwe of the 1990s, Tambu’s coming-of-age intersects with that of her country in compelling and tragic ways. Dangarembga serves as director of the Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa Trust, executive director of Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe, and founding director of the International Images Film Festival for Women. The winner of the PEN International Award for Freedom of Expression (2021), she lives in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Windham-Campbell Literature Prize programs

Established in 2013 with a gift from the late novelist Donald Windham in memory of his partner of forty years, Sandy M. Campbell, the Windham-Campbell Literature Prizes at Yale University recognize writers worldwide and give prominence to their literary achievements. The prizes provide opportunities to focus on work independent of financial concerns.

Click here to learn more about Dangarembga and the other Windham Campbell 2022 prize recipients, and to see the full Festival schedule.

A recording of this program will be made available online. Please check back here soon.

Top image
Photo of Tsitsi Dangarembga by Buck O'Donoghue, Bad Rabbit Studio

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