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The Lost Colours of the Chameleon

by Mandla Langa

A brilliant, deeply human book about the nature of political transformations. And a rollicking story that keeps you engaged as the author re-imagines Africa through the eyes of a deposed President, whose father inspired the transformation of his country, and whose various friends, relatives and colleagues bring the imagined country, Bangula, to its present state. If you are cynical, you will hate this book for being so full of hope and truth.

Extract

MaZembe stood in the middle of the lounge, looking around as she were the only survivor of a shipwreck. Her attentiveness directed him to examine his home. He noticed the bleak wallpaper, which was peeling off in parts and the curtains that suddenly seemed drabber than usual, which folded to expose the lace lining flecked with the remains of gnats and flies. The vinyl covering was scuffed and cracked in the section nearest the door and tables and chairs were bruised by constantly bumping into the unyielding walls, perhaps in the process of moving. A flowerless vase rested on the crocheted table covering, the only ornament that spoke of the creative generosity of a human hand. Abioseh was suddenly very thirsty. 'Something to drink, Ma?'

Parallels

Chinua Achebe by Things Fall Apart
A Bend in the River by V S Naipaul
Jonathan Swift by Gulliver's Travels
 

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