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Title:Language and audience in Brian Chikwava's 'Harare North' (2009)
Author:Ndlovu, Isaac
Periodical:The English Academy Review (ISSN 1753-5360)
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
language usage
About person:Brian ChikwavaISNI
Abstract:Brian Chikwava's novel Harare North (2009. London: Jonathan Cape) is founded on two related linguistic oxymora. First, while it narrates shocking events that impinge on the lives of millions of Zimbabweans, the novel does so through the employment of unrelenting satirical humour. Second, the novel consistently uses broken English as a stylistic device; however, this broken English is a product of a writer who is fully fluent in English. Among other issues, my discussion tries to engage with these linguistic paradoxes that are constitutive of the novel as they relate to the kinds of audience - and in particular the British readership - to which Chikwava directs his text. Some consideration is also given to the ways in which the novel can be said to function self-reflexively as a comment on Chikwava himself. Bibliogr., note, sum. [Journal abstract]