The Book of Not continues the saga of Tambudzai, picking up where Nervous Conditions left off. As Tambu begins secondary school at the Young Ladies’ College of the Sacred Heart, she is still reeling from the personal losses that have been war has inflicted upon her family—her uncle and sister were injured in a mine explosion. Soon she’ll come face to face with discriminatory practices at her mostly-white school. And when she graduates and begins a job at an advertising agency, she realizes that the political and historical forces that threaten to destroy the fabric of her community are outside the walls of the school as well.
Tsitsi Dangarembga, honored with the PEN Award for Freedom of Expression, digs deep into the damage colonialism and its education system does to Tambu’s sense of self amid the struggle for Zimbabwe’s independence, resulting in a brilliant and incisive second novel.
"The whole novel is an examination of Tambu's increasingly warped perspective, achieved through a focused, almost claustrophobic first-person point of view and a masterly deployment of flashbacks. We inhabit Tambu's mind so totally that we often have to pull back to remind ourselves that this is not reality, but the world as Tambu sees it."—Helon Habila, The Guardian