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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Rethinking the poetics of urban informalities in fiction: reconstructing the city space in times of crisis
Author:Mlambo, Nelson
Periodical:Journal for Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences (ISSN 2026-7215)
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:short stories
urban life
urban women
market women
urban areas
Abstract:Three short stories set in urban Zimbabwe during the crisis of the past decade are explored with the prime motivation to examine how urbanites are constantly redefining and reclaiming public space through their lived experiences so as to better their lives. Using resilience theory and focusing on the profundity of agency, the paper shows how the characters demonstrate their capacity to innovate and respond to difficulty with ingenuity through urban informalities. Rather than bemoaning the dystopian post-colonial city which has become reminiscent of the contemporary Afro-pessimisms, the extraordinarily energetic creativity of the urbanites, the tenacity and resilience of people who inhabit the city space, are clarified and celebrated. The three stories are: 1. 'Universal remedy' by Pat Brickhill about the amiable relationship between a white and a black woman; 2. 'Tables turned over' by Adrian Ashley about market women who survive through street vending; and 3. 'Not slaves to fashion' by M. Mthimkhulu about the role of women's clubs. The ultimate conclusion is that challenges can be stepping stones or stumbling blocks, it's a matter of how you view them. Bibliogr., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]