Magazine article New Internationalist

A Fine Madness

Magazine article New Internationalist

A Fine Madness

Article excerpt

A Fine Madness by Mashingaidze Gomo (Ayebia, ISBN 9780956240149)

This is a book about war by one who knows. Mashingaidze Gomo was a helicopter technician and gunner in the Zimbabwean Defence Forces and served in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the catastrophic civil war that followed the downfall of the tyrant Mobutu - a conflict which drew in all the DRCs neighbouring countries. It is difficult to categorize this work; technically a novel, it is a kaleidoscope of notes and fragmentary diary entries, poetrv and prose, factual descriptions and phantasmagorical flights of fancy. Gomo uses his experiences of the horrors of war to reflect on the wider issues of colonial exploitation and the possibilities of a Pan-Africanist vision of the continent.

This is Mashingaidze Gomo's first work of fiction but it is an astonishingly assured book, both in its dizzying mash-up of styles and techniques and in its clear-eyed assessment of Africa's tragic past, despot-laden present and uncertain future. …

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