The Architecture of Loss
39 in stock
|Author||Zainab Priya Dala|
|Binding||Paperback with flaps|
|Ships By||2-3 days|
‘[Zainab Priya] Dala is a writer who has suffered much for her art and is well worth reading.’—Salman Rushdie
A novel of forgiveness and reconciliation that shines light on the dark underbelly of South Africa’s fight for freedom and democracy.
Estranged from her mother, who sent her away at the age of six, brilliant architect Afroze Bhana has carved out an impressive life for herself in Cape Town. But when she receives word that her mother is desperately ill, she is compelled to return to her hometown in rural Zululand to find answers about her painful childhood.
Afroze finds that her mother, Sylvie—a doctor and fierce activist during the dark days of the anti-apartheid struggle—is a shadow of her formidable self. But Sylvie has still retained her anger toward the daughter that she sent away. Somehow, she cannot draw Afroze close, even facing the looming threat of her own mortality. She remains frozen in the cottage of Afroze’s childhood, cared for by the fiercely protective Halaima, a Malawian refugee. Especially painful for Afroze is the love that Sylvie showers on Bibi, Halaima’s precocious daughter—love she never gave her own daughter.
A moving novel about the complexities of family ties, The Architecture of Loss beautifully explores the ways in which the anti-apartheid struggle—a struggle in which the roles of women have been largely overlooked—irrevocably damaged many of its unsung heroes.
Zainab Priya Dala is a freelance writer and psychologist. Her debut novel What About Meera won the inaugural Minara Aziz Hassim Literary Prize in South Africa and was longlisted for both the Etisalat Prize for Fiction (the most prestigious literary prize for African fiction) and the Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize (South Africa’s largest literary award). Her short stories were awarded second prize in the Witness True Stories of KwaZulu Natal and she has written opinion pieces for The New York Times Magazine, Marie Claire and Elle. In 2017, she received an Honorary Fellowship in Writing at the International Writers Program at the University of Iowa. She has lived and worked in Dublin and now lives in Durban, South Africa.