Children: Fiction teens
Children - Fiction teens
R 153Jy spaar R 17
Thoughtful, insightful and compelling, Granite is a well-executed imagining of what happened to cause the collapse of the civilisation of Great Zimbabwe (called Zimba Remabwe in the book.)
While adult historical fiction has experienced a recent resurgence in interest, narratives are mostly drawn from European history.
Granite is refreshingly African, illuminating a relatively unexplored area in fiction. It also shifts "fictionalised history" away from the European centre: in the story, Zimba Remabwe exists as a sophisticated African city state well integrated with the rest of the mid-fifteenth-century world. It is a world in which Arab scholars travel from China and India to Europe and Britain, filing their chronicles in the revered library of Timbuktu.
The narrative method is worth noting: because he cannot write, the story is dictated by a young nobleman called Mokomba - one of few survivors of his city's downfall. The penman is Shafiq, a learned Arab traveller who is a father figure after the passing of Mokomba's own father.
Each chapter relates a series of events from these two characters' perspectives, as they fill in what the other might have glossed over. The result is a finely rendered narrative of two distinct voices.