Book Update: Innocent Victims – Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe’s farm invasions – by Cathy Buckle

What a book!

Here’s the update: the book, first published as a hardback in 2009 by Merlin Unwin, has been published again this year as a high quality paperback. The publishers say that “it is most readily available throughout Africa via The Book Depository which has the title available for £14.99, with free delivery worldwide”.

Innocent Victims is a true story, based on the first hand accounts of the Chief Inspector for the ZNSPCA (Zimbabwe National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), Meryl Harrison, who, in the early 2000s, travelled widely around the farming districts of the country as they were being wrenched apart by land reform. Supported by a small team, her mission was to rescue the animals from farms where the owners had been forced off by unpredictable, aggressive mobs, often in situations that had spiralled violently out of control.

It was an emotional, empowering read for me, as much about courage and loyalty, as it is about mayhem, and at its core is Meryl’s persistent, brave determination to help the stranded animals.

In the audio clip below I say a little more about the book, and read the first four and a half pages of Chapter One. These start with the dog that inspired Meryl and her team to begin their rescues.

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2021

Book Review: This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga

This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga

“There is a fish in the mirror. The mirror is above the washbasin in the corner of your hostel room.”

The opening lines of a book I love for its fractured intensity. Reading it is like being plunged into a bruise, one that stains Zimbabweans everywhere.

Time for a summer break … not far, but greener

#ZimbabweanLivesMatter

Away from my Desk

I just wanted to let you know that I am going to take a break for a few weeks. You may well not even notice, given that my blogging is so erratic these days, but at least there is a note on the page in case you do decide to look in.

Thanks to everyone who’s been reading and taking the time to comment. It is so good to know that you’re out there. Special thanks also to the brave ‘free writers’ who joined me during the early months of lockdown. I loved the company and the mini-thought posts that came with it. Bizarre how long ago it feels now.

Finally, a big mention to Zim, where the challenges only seem to multiply. It’s extraordinary to watch the fight against corruption and abuse … so determined despite the terrible odds. I’ve felt a sort of agonising grief/hope with each painful step forward, and truly can’t imagine the courage it takes. I’ll keep watching.

Well … that’s it.

Wishing you the best wherever you are, and hope to see you again sometime in September.

Georgie

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2020