Zamani: a haunted memoir of Tanzania — Jane Bryce
Out 20th October, pre-order now for your early copy
Haunted by memories of a Tanzanian childhood abruptly ended when her parents were deported, Jane Bryce returns in search of the past only to be ambushed by the present. As she retraces her own and her parents’ footsteps she is surprised by unexpected connections, reaching back into the colonial past, and further, to a time of myth and legend. The key to understanding what holds these together comes to her in the form of ‘zamani’ – the Swahili sea of time where spirits inhabit places and landscape, memory animates the everyday and voices from the past speak to the present. Collectively these voices paint a picture of social and political change in Tanzania over the last 50 years, and invite the author to take her place in it.
Praise for Zamani
Spare and rather remarkable. Unsentimental and stern and filled with honoured things.
— Peter Merrington, South African scholar, artist and poet,
author of Zebra Crossings: Tales from the Shaman’s Record.
“There are different kinds of belonging. There’s the kind that comes with a passport, and there’s a kind of helpless, spiritual attachment.” Jane Bryce, revisiting the places where she spent her Tanzanian childhood, finds them haunted by the ghosts of a colonial past. In this painfully honest and insightful memoir she explores the themes of identity and belonging and how these can survive a lifetime apart.
— Sally Keeble, British political activist, author of She, You, I.
Jane Bryce was born and brought up in Tanzania, and lived in Italy, the UK and Nigeria, before moving to Barbados to teach at the University of the West Indies in 1992. There she taught African Literature and film, and creative writing. She is an active member of the Caribbean literary community as reviewer, editor and judge for literary competitions both locally and regionally. She has published widely as a literary and cultural critic and her short stories have appeared in Poui (Barbados), Scroll in Space (Canada), Wasafiri (UK), Chimurenga (Cape Town), New Gong (Nigeria), Short Story (United States), and most recently in The Caribbean Writer (US Virgin Islands), which awarded her the Cecile de Jongh Literary Prize in 2019, and Praxis (Nigeria). She compiled and edited the anthology Caribbean Dispatches: Beyond the Tourist Dream (Macmillan UK: 2006) and is author of Chameleon and other stories (Peepal Tree Press, 2007).