UK-based Zimbabwean author Masimba Musodza has written the first science fiction novel in ChiShona, the native language of the Shona people of Zimbabwe and Southern Zambia. And it tells the story of native beliefs clashing with corporate mad science. MunaHacha Maive Nei is also the first chiShona novel available on the Kindle. According to the ImageNations blog, this is a huge step forward in a region where English, or a pidgin version of English, is still considered the "most common form of communication." Musodza, who's also the author of some detective novels and the novel The Man who turned into a Rastafarian, has lived in England since 2002. (ChiShona is a common enough language in England that it's used on official forms.)
Here's how Musodza's press release describes the novel:
MunaHacha Maive Nei weaves issues of greed & corruption, sustainable development, international corporate intrigue and concerns around bio-technology. Chemicals from a research station conducting illegal experiments begin to seep in to the local ecosystem, causing mutations in the flora and fauna. When a child is attacked by a giant fish, the villagers think it is an affronted mermaid-traditional custodian of the ecology- and seek to appease it according to the prescription of folk-lore. However, the reality of what is happening soon becomes evident, a reality more terrifying than any legend or belief.
2. Also, via unusualmusic @ her dw journal Zadie Smith (excerpt from this interview @ literateur):
"This is a long way of saying that On Beauty was the end of all that for me – of trying to get people’s approval by writing myself IN to this English tradition. I just don’t care any more. All I can do is continue to work very hard on my little projects, taking in any influence I feel like, and not fearing subjects that interest me. 19th century Jamaica interests me. The 70’s Black Power movement in London interests me. The feminist lesbian movements of the 60’s and 70’s interest me. At the moment, sci fi, speculative fiction, interests me enormously. I’m so excited now about the next decade. I feel free!"