The late legendary writer, Dambudzo Charles Marechera, will be brought back to life through a commemorative e-book, whose publication will coincide with what would have been the eccentric writer’s 59th birthday.
Marechera died in 1987, but his works has continued to dominate the local and international literary canon.
The e-book will be published by StoryTime Publishing, an online initiative by Zimbabwean writer, publisher and visual artist, Ivor Hartmann.
“To celebrate Dambudzo Marechera’s posthumous 59th birthday this year I will be putting together an e-book anthology entitled Remembering Marechera, consisting of essays, reviews, short stories and poems that follow this theme, to be published by StoryTime Publishing,” said Hartmann.
Editors for this project are Zimbabwean writers Emmanuel Sigauke, who will take care of the poetry and Tinashe Mushakavanhu who will edit essays while Hartmann himself will edit the short stories.
This memorial publication will add on to the endless accolades stalking the late Marechera, who has been described as the “enfant terrible of African literature”.
In the past, commentaries, conferences and poetry slams focusing on Marechera’s life have been published and held locally and internationally, with the biggest being the conference hosted by Oxford University in 2009.
The conference, attended by local writers Memory Chirere and Tinashe Mushakavanhu, was dubbed “Dambudzo Marechera: A Celebration”. Hartmann is calling for contributions in the form of essays, poems, stories, which must be sent before April 6 this year. The length of contributions is restricted to between 1 000-5 000 words.
While literary friends and academics continue to honour the enigmatic writer, less is known about the Dambudzo Marechera Trust that was set up after his passing in 1987 in Zimbabwe to promote the publication of Marechera’s unpublished works and to encourage young writers.
Marechera’s House of Hunger (Heinemann Educational Publishers, 1978), an incandescent anthology of short stories, won the Guardian Fiction Prize in 1979.
House of Hunger also made Marechera “the mouthpiece of that lost generation of young Zimbabweans who found themselves oppressed by the colonial regime, and who were either alienated from their own culture or subjected to an alien culture in exile”, according to publisher Flora Veit Wild, (1987.)