A Broken People’s Playlist is a collection of short stories with underlying themes so beautifully woven that each story flows into the other seamlessly. From its poignant beginning in “Lost Stars” a story about love and it’s fleeting, transient nature to the gritty, raw musical prose encapsulated in “In The City”, a tale of survival set in the alleyways of the waterside. A Broken People’s Playlist is a mosaic of stories about living, loving and hurting through very familiar sounds, in very familiar ways and finding healing in the most unlikely places.
Willem Prins wanders the streets of Paris, disillusioned and glum. Once, he showed great promise as a South African writer of distinction, but years of disappointment have left their mark. Drowning himself in the Seine may well be the only option left to drive up his book sales. His reason for being in Paris – the French translation of an erotic novel he wrote under a pseudonym – is not exactly something to be proud of. He is no stranger to Paris. An ex-wife of his (one of three) lives in the city with his eldest son, a young man who barely knows his father.
More than a decade ago Marita van der Vyver emigrated to France where she married a Frenchman and settled in the scenic countryside of Provence. Having become famous for a novel built on fairy tales, her life resembles that of a princess meeting her Prince Charming. Several bestsellers, much living and loving, and years later, they move – to another French village called Place of Frogs.
In “This Mournable Body”, Tsitsi Dangarembga returns to the protagonist of her acclaimed first novel, “Nervous Conditions”, to examine how the hope and potential of a young girl and a fledgling nation can sour over time and become a bitter and floundering struggle for survival. Anxious about her prospects after leaving a stagnant job, Tambudzai finds herself living in a run-down youth hostel in downtown Harare. For reasons that include her grim financial prospects and her age, she moves to a widow’s boarding house and eventually finds work as a biology teacher.
Zwei Gangs, zwei Zeiten, zwei Welten und eine Chance Esso, ein afrikanischstämmiger Teenager aus dem Süden Londons, gehört zwar keiner Gang an, doch er ist zur falschen Zeit am falschen Ort. Weil er zugesehen hat, wie ein berüchtigtes Gangmitglied zusammengeschlagen wurde, muss er um sein Leben fürchten. Als er vor ein Auto läuft und bewusstlos wird, entdeckt er, dass er Zugang zu einer anderen Welt hat – er kann dort Szenen seines zukünftigen Lebens sehen. Und etwas, was er unbedingt verhindern möchte.
Meet Adunni, a teenage girl born into a rural Nigerian village. Aged fourteen, she is a commodity, a wife, a servant. She is also smart, funny, curious, with a spirit and joy infectious to those around her. And despite her situation going from bad to worse, she has a plan to escape: she will find her 'louding voice' and get her education, so that she can speak up for herself - and all the girls who came before her.
As a child Gifty would ask her parents to tell the story of their journey from Ghana to Alabama, seeking escape in myths of heroism and romance. When her father and brother succumb to the hard reality of immigrant life in the American South, their family of four becomes two - and the life Gifty dreamed of slips away.
In Sensuous Knowledge, Minna Salami draws on Africa-centric, feminist-first and artistic traditions to help us rediscover inclusive and invigorating ways of experiencing the world afresh. Combining the playfulness of a storyteller with the insight of a social critic, the book pries apart the systems of power and privilege that have dominated ways of thinking for centuries - and which have led to so much division, prejudice and damage.