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Black Sunlight

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  124 ratings  ·  17 reviews
"House of Hunger" not only won The Guardian fiction prize but stunned the imagination of readers with its view of the slums of colonial Salisbury. "Black Sunlight" gives a similar cockroach-eye view of London.

“I really tried to put terrorism into a historical perspective, neither applauding their acts nor condemning them. The photographer does not take sides; he just takes
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Paperback, 128 pages
Published January 1st 1988 by Heinemann Educational Books (first published 1980)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  124 ratings  ·  17 reviews


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Leland Pitts-Gonzalez
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Simply said: more people need to read this book. So energetic and stylized. I haven't read it in years, but simply reading the title makes me excited. Utterly original.
Aberjhani
Genius in Full Flower

Dambudzo Marechera could transform everyday language into a tortured scream for sanity or mold it into a seductive poetry of passionate need and joyful determination. The extremes of political chaos and spiritual urgency that characterized 1970s Zimbabwe illuminate the pages of Black Sunlight with unblinking honesty and desperately clinging hope.

This small masterpiece, along with his Guardian-prize winning House of Hunger, is one of the most powerful books ever penned by a
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Beata
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, fiction
A very strange little book, about a Black Sunlight, a terrorist organization or a group of freedom fighters, I'm not ever sure... The narrator is named Christian, a photographer, who 's there to document the violence and to have sex with just about every member of the group, while his blind wife "watches". To be clear, for most of this slim (but heavy) volume I had no idea what was happening. At one point Christian meets his double and has a philosophical conversation about the nature of ...more
Ben Winch
Aug 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
I hated this. It read, to me, like any 1970s would-be revolutionary with no prose-writing talent but a whole head full of diatribe and spleen. Also, I sensed it had been edited into near-submission by an Anglo who hated it as much as I did and wanted only to blandify it for the masses. Now sure, it’s been three or four years since I read it, and I notice as I write this it has strangely vacated my bookshelf, so I’m light on details as to why or how it so vexed me, but one thing I’m sure of: to ...more
Andrew Howdle
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Black Sunlight" is a short but multi-layered novel. It is thought to be less complete than "The House of Hunger" and often viewed as something of a failed experiment. This is not the case, however, and "Black Sunlight" deserves serious consideration as an original, modern masterpiece. The novel--taking something from Milton's phrase, "darkness visible"--is a study of modern melancholy and the darker side of the human psyche.
Elie
Nov 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: africa, fiction
This book is bloody fantastic, with an edginess to the narrative that makes it raw, titillating and impossible to put down. Sometimes, though, it veers into reference-strewn stream-of-consciousness which I found forgivable but tiring. This is the best book of African fiction I've read by far, and I plan on tracking down everything this man wrote.
Pete Young
Nov 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Marechera was the kind of off-beat Zimbabwean writer that did himself no favours, one who ended his life sleeping on Harare’s park benches refusing to talk to his family. He was either mad or blessed with, as some believed, a taint of genius, and his small output of work continues to attract attention with the reissue of his second novel in Penguin’s newly launched African Writers Series. A photojournalist whose name may or may not be Christian becomes connected to a violent rebel organisation ...more
jean lice
Oct 14, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: studies, zimbabwean
this truly is the most depressing book I've read in a long time; reading it made me feel way older than I am. it's the way Dambudzo Marechera captures the voidness of life, the unknowing cause of it, so perfectly. his characters function as a means to an end; Dambudzo tries to convey a bleak and dark view of life itself by excessively using the stream-of-consciousness narrative at times, and referencing and/or quoting a vast number of known. this is my problem with the book. I bought it ...more
Starlon
Jesus. I thought I could escape Hegel and Whitman but Dambudzo somehow weaved them into this demonic chapter.

I am adding this book to the poetry shelf. The latter part of this novel is straight up prose poetry.

Do I know what I just read? Not really. A poetic statement? An essay on the radical violent nature of the imagination and ideology? The separation of the individual from the unfolding of history? A look back over the liberation of Zimbabwe? A vicious attack on language? An attempt to undue
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AH
Oct 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
"Black Sunlight" is a short but multi-layered novel. It is thought to be less complete than "The House of Hunger" and often viewed as something of a failed experiment. This is not the case, however, and "Black Sunlight" deserves serious consideration as an original, modern masterpiece. The novel--taking something from Milton's phrase, "darkness visible"--is a study of modern melancholy and the darker side of the human psyche.
Lula
Dec 30, 2008 marked it as potential-to-read
Shelves: africa, fiction
Zimbabwe
Suzanne Ondrus
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is awesome!!! It's narrated from the p.o.v. of a camera; it's evocative of a mind warped by war.
Benjamin
Jun 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: africa, cult
Twisted.
Mpumi Sithole
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Brilliant writing. Not easy to follow though...when you read your mind should be focused on Dambudzo, he is witty, crazy at times but very challenging to understand.
Philisiwe Twijnstra
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Honestly, not an easy book if you in hurry...Really enjoyed it.
Rob Lloyd
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: african
Both brutal and beautiful at times. Forceful always.
Sara-Maria Sorentino
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May 15, 2010
Anuary Sitoe
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Nov 06, 2012
Stephen
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May 14, 2017
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Amber Finstad
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Nov 09, 2017
Tarisai Jaraga
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Need
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Phil
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Bond
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Black sunlight 2 6 Jul 04, 2018 09:27PM  

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"A black man who has suffered all the stupid brutalities of the white oppression in Rhodesia, his rage explodes, not in political rhetoric, but in a fusion of lyricism, wit, obscenity. Incredible that such a powerful indictment should also be so funny."

Doris Lessing in praise of The House of Hunger

Harare, 1986
At home in Harare, 1986.
Ernst Schade.

Known as the "enfant terrible of African
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