In what has been an exceptional year for the short story, the announcement of Petina Gappah as winner of the Guardian first book award is further cause for rejoicing. Her debut collection, An Elegy for Easterly, is published by Faber.
You can read a brand new story called 'Miss McConkey of Bridgewater Close' here. This is a quietly powerful piece about a child coming of age as Rhodesia transforms itself into Zimbabwe.
In her blog, the author describes the background to the story as 'the time that I find most interesting to write about, the move from settler rule to majority rule and the early days of independence. I am interested in exploring how independence materially changed lives, especially for the blacks who made it to the suburbs and whose children found themselves in the alien territory of formerly whites-only schools.'
Not only that: she also includes the video for the hit 80s record (by David Scobie, 'one of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe's early rock stars') her parents dance to at the end of the story. It takes you right back. . .