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Chenjerai Hove obituary

Leading Zimbabwean novelist and poet who left his native country to live in exile in the west in 2001

Chenjerai Hove, who has died aged 59 of liver failure, was a leading Zimbabwean novelist and poet, and a beacon of integrity and dissidence. He had lived in exile in the west since 2001, and along with Dambudzo Marechera, Yvonne Vera and Charles Mungoshi, was one of the founding figures of modern Zimbabwean literature – a group of writers whose work dealt with the societies of both pre- and post-independence. Of these, only Mungoshi now survives.

It is a feature of Zimbabwean literature that many of its writers have achieved international acclaim. Indeed, the story of Zimbabwe – a country with a deep history and a legacy of stone cities, of white colonialism followed by white rebellion against the crown, of heroic liberation struggle followed by reconciliation and, lately, by racial division and economic meltdown – has made it an obvious place for literature of an intense order.

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