The Hairdresser of Harare
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About the Author
Tendai Huchu's work has been translated into German, French, Spanish, and Italian. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Interzone, Wasafiri, and elsewhere. He was shortlisted for the 2014 Caine Prize.
"Hairdresser was a perfect end of summer read; my book was sticky from sweat and sugary from bubbling peaches that went into the pies and preserves I was making - a delicious hair-salon-gossip kind of novel about minding, mending and maintaining social mores. It is a novel about hearbreak, but more seriously, it is also about the inevitable breaks that happen in one's psyche, sometimes accompanied by injury to the physical body, when one's community disciplines in order to reinforce its social and sexual expectations."--Neelika Jayawardane, Africa Is a Country
"Diasporic writers, presumably granted a bit of historical distance, seem like the most intuitive place to find writing that errs more toward the philosophical than the experiential. And that hunch is not altogether wrong: the Edinburgh-based Zimbabwean novelist Tendai Huchu, to take the most prominent and promising example, is unusually bold on this front. Each of his novels--2011's The Hairdresser of Harare and last year's The Maestro, the Magistrate, and the Mathematician (the first already republished and the second forthcoming with Ohio University Press)--explicitly sets out to capture ideas as things that guide but stand apart from personal experience."--n+1
"This sharp, entertaining, and thoughtful debut is rife with sociopolitical commentary but never loses its humanity.... Through deceptively simple observations and plain prose, Huchu exposes readers to issues of classism, racism, and homophobia without ever coming across as preachy or heavy-handed."--Kirkus Reviews
"Huchu brings Harare's public and private spaces to vivid life. These people and places are distinguished by aspiration and failure, international engagement and small-town provincialism, wealth and poverty, family ties and bitter mistrust--and, always, the specter of violence and a tenuous peace."
--Minneapolis Star Tribune