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Jack Mapanje Beasts of Nalunga ISBN 13: 9781852247713

Beasts of Nalunga - Softcover

 
9781852247713: Beasts of Nalunga
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Forty years after his country's independence from the British, Jack Mapanje has returned to his concern for ordinary people in Africa and in the world at large. These were the themes that made his first collection Of Chameleons and Gods an inspirational book in Malawi and throughout Africa.

The new poems in Beasts of Nalunga are boldly lyrical narratives cunningly crafted in mesmerising spirals. His voice is still ironically cheerful, his tone impotently angry but confidently measured with wit and humour, however bleak. He fears the saying 'once a prisoner always a prisoner', and questions why prisons refuse to go away.

Jack Mapanje was imprisoned without trial or charge by the dictator Hastings Banda for nearly four years, and chronicled his prison experiences in many of the poems of The Chattering Wagtails of Mikuyu Prison (1993), Skipping Without Ropes (1998) and The Last of the Sweet Bananas: New & Selected Poems (2004). In Beasts of Nalunga the soul is still skipping without rope, and the landscape the soul traverses provides memorable and fresh metaphors and symbols.

Read Beasts of Nalunga as the soul struggling to liberate itself, and fighting against the beasts of silences that were once rampant in the African despotic regime under which Mapanje matured, silences that threaten to continue today, even in distant homes and variegated exiles.

Beasts of Nalunga was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection.

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Review:
Given the regime, Mapanje's satire can seem strangely generous, impressively blending the memory of terror with a sense almost of farce when he considers his captors. --Sean O'Brien, Sunday Times
About the Author:
Jack Mapanje is a poet, linguist, editor and human rights activist. He received the 1988 Rotterdam Poetry International Award for his first book of poems, Chameleons and Gods (1981) and the USA's Fonlon-Nichols Award for his contribution to poetry and human rights. His latest collection, Beasts of Nalunga (Bloodaxe Books, 2007), was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection. Jack Mapanje was head of the Department of English at the University of Malawi when the Malawi authorities arrested him in 1987 after his first book of poems had been banned, and he was released in 1991 after spending three years, seven months and sixteen days in prison, following an international outcry against his incarceration. He has since published four poetry books, The Chattering Wagtails of Mikuyu Prison (1993), Skipping Without Ropes (Bloodaxe, 1998), The Last of the Sweet Bananas: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe, 2004) and Beasts of Nalunga (Bloodaxe, 2007), as well as three anthologies, Oral Poetry from Africa (1983), Summer Fires: New Poetry of Africa (1983) and The African Writers Handbook (1999); and he edited the acclaimed Gathering Seaweed: African Prison Writing (2002). His latest book is his prison memoir And Crocodiles Are Hungry at Night (Ayebia Clarke Publishing, 2011). Mapanje has held residences in the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland and throughout Britain, including two years with the Wordsworth Trust at Dove Cottage in Cumbria. He lives in exile in York with his family, and is currently a visiting professor in the faculty of art at York St John University.

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  • PublisherBloodaxe Books Ltd
  • Publication date2007
  • ISBN 10 1852247711
  • ISBN 13 9781852247713
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages64
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