A TALE OF MORAL LESSONS
How far can you travel to find a home elsewhere? In a provocative yet vulnerable way, Jennifer Kumbi guides us to get answers to this. In most short stories, there is a tendency to be finite and crisp making such stories lack sporadic and reality. But in each of the 12 stories, each character gives us a fresh, almost filial feel of their circumstances and how they go through each of them.
Young discerning boys, ubiquitous women, bonded men all have Uganda in common. “We poor people are embarrassed by poverty. We hide it. There’s no need to look at a person saying I’ve tried Britain and failed. Where is the hope for the dreamer?”
And despite the winter and acrimony, the pain and the growth, at the end, everyone wants a family, a home, a place to be. Makumbi chose her characters so well and the plot so tainted that you would definitely say this is real life been given back to us.
And as Noah Mintz said, ‘A single story is never the whole story. The only proper way to tell it is as multiple narratives, lives that interweave and tie together, but are ultimately unique and independent. Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi grants us this as a corrective, a bright and rich collection that offers a glimpse into the expat community without presuming to show the whole picture.’
This is the perfect short story about migrants (NO!) Expatriates.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi was born in Kampala, Uganda, in 1967, and now lives in Manchester. Her first novel, Kintu, was longlisted for the Etisalat prize in 2014, and she won the Commonwealth Short Story prize in the same year. Her first short story collection, Manchester Happened, was published in 2019. She was awarded the prestigious Windham-Campbell prize for fiction in 2018. Her new book, The First Woman, is a powerful feminist rendition of Ugandan origin tales, charting the young girl Kirabo’s journey to find her place in the world.