shopping_cart

We Are All Zimbabweans Now

By James Kilgore

“Written while Kilgore was in prison, this haunting debut limns an idealistic graduate student’s experiences in Zimbabwe just after Robert Mugabe’s rise to power.… Kilgore has crafted an absorbing read that truly immerses readers in early 1980s Zimbabwe.”

Booklist

“… More than in highlighting overlooked historical moments, the true brilliance of We Are All Zimbabweans Now lies in its dialogue. Some of Zimbabwe’s great writers have never quite been able to achieve that level of realism.… Kilgore’s ear for dialogue and sense for illuminating underlying social and political tensions give readers a sense for life in newly liberated Zimbabwe—quite an accomplishment for a writer….”

Solidarity

“Kilgore’s devastating and quite funny portrait of the radical expatriates gathered in Harare is all the more effective because he was presumably one of them at the time.… (P)erhaps one can read Kilgore’s moving novel as his own attempt at redemption and reconciliation.”

Los Angeles Review of Books

“Too few writers have Kilgore’s wide-angle vision. This promising first book, vividly rooted in his own experience, leaves me eager to read more by him.”

Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa

We Are All Zimbabweans Now is a political thriller set in Zimbabwe in the hopeful, early days of Robert Mugabe’s rise to power in the late 1980s. When Ben Dabney, a Wisconsin graduate student, arrives in the country, he is enamored with Mugabe and the promises of his government’s model of racial reconciliation. But as Ben begins his research and delves more deeply into his hero’s life, he finds fatal flaws. Ultimately Ben reconsiders not only his understanding of Mugabe, but his own professional and personal life.

James Kilgore brings an authentic voice to a work of youthful hope, disillusionment, and unsettling resolution.

James Kilgore is a research scholar at the Center for African Studies, University of Illinois. He grew up in California, graduating from UC Santa Barbara in 1969. Deeply immersed in the political movements of the time, Kilgore became involved with the Symbionese Liberation Army, eventually fleeing a 1975 federal explosives charge. He remained on the run for twenty-seven years. During this time underground, he lived in Zimbabwe, Australia, and South Africa, working as an educator and researcher under the pseudonym John Pape. U.S. authorities caught up with him in Cape Town in 2002. After extradition to the United States, he served six and a half years in prison. While incarcerated, Kilgore wrote We Are All Zimbabweans Now, his first novel and his first publication under his own name.

Order a print copy

Paperback · $21.56 ·
Add to Cart

Retail price: $26.95 · Save 20% ($21.56)

Buy from a local bookstore

IndieBound

US and Canada only

Download an electronic copy

Amazon Kindle Store Barnes & Noble NOOK Google Play iBooks Store

Availability and price vary according to vendor.

Cover of We Are All Zimbabweans Now

Share    Facebook icon  Email icon

Requests

Desk Copy Examination Copy Review Copy

Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center

Formats

Paperback
978-0-8214-1985-4
Retail price: $26.95, S.
Release date: September 2011
272 pages · 6 × 9 in.
Rights: World except South Africa

Electronic
978-0-8214-4395-8
Release date: September 2011
Rights: World except South Africa

Additional Praise for We Are All Zimbabweans Now

“In We Are All Zimbabweans Now, James Kilgore has given us an intimate view of one man's journey into Zimbabwe's often horrific recent past. I'm so pleased the book will now be available to American readers. Not only is the novel an essential contribution to our understanding of what went so wrong in Zimbabwe (as well as allowing us to see what went right in the early days), We Are All Zimbabweans Now is wonderfully written, humane, and mysterious from start to finish.”

Peter Orner, author of The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo

“James Kilgore is a novelist, scholar, and longtime activist. His riveting political mystery captures the dashed hopes, abuses, and ongoing struggles of the Zimbabwean people in the postindependence period. For those interested in a moving personalized account of the betrayal of the Zimbabwean revolution, We Are All Zimbabweans Now is essential reading.”

Allen Isaacman, Regents Professor of African History, University of Minnesota

“(I)t’s a good story, one that lets you peek into Zimbabwe in the early 80s, how Mugabe managed to hoodwink most of the West into believing he was great, how African politics is even murkier than the usual morass of politics, how it is impossible to know whom to trust, and how the choice between right and wrong is not always an easy one.”

Joburg Expat blog

“The book is fast-paced and funny, extolling two literary virtues often missing on the Left. It is a good read—the work of a great storyteller. But it is also an invaluable object lesson—the work of a committed activist.”

Frank B. Wilderson III, author of Incognegro: A Memoir of Exile and Apartheid, winner of the 2008 American Book Award

“Countries and crises, like individuals, can be cast as crude outlines from a distance, in the wide shot; getting up close is the way to reveal nuance and complexity. Kilgore’s novel zooms in on post-Independence 1980s Zimbabwe in just this enlightening fashion, through the eyes and experiences of an American history student, Ben Dabney, who flies in with a study grant and a believer’s heart to witness a settler colony transformed into an independent nation. Kilgore’s evocation of that exhilarating era of hope and change is superb, as those of us who lived through it can confirm. But what the novel does—beyond bringing place and time alive—is to onion-peel some layers of history, opening old and new assumptions to the air with stinging effect.”

Annie Holmes, coauthor, Hope Deferred: Narratives of Zimbabwean Lives

Related Titles

Cover of 'Welcome to Our Hillbrow'

Welcome to Our Hillbrow
A Novel of Postapartheid South Africa
By Phaswane Mpe

Welcome to Our Hillbrow is an exhilarating and disturbing ride through the chaotic and hyper-real zone of Hillbrow—microcosm of all that is contradictory, alluring, and painful in the postapartheid South African psyche.

Fiction · African Authors · African Studies

Cover of 'After Tears'

After Tears
By Niq Mhlongo

Bafana Kuzwayo is a young man with a weight on his shoulders. After flunking his law studies at the University of Cape Town, he returns home to Soweto, where he must decide how to break the news to his family. But before he can confess, he is greeted as a hero by family and friends. His uncle calls him “Advo,” short for Advocate, and his mother wastes no time recruiting him to solve their legal problems.

African Authors · African Studies · Fiction

Cover of 'Broken Lives and Other Stories'

Broken Lives and Other Stories
By Anthonia C. Kalu
· Foreword by Emmanuel N. Obiechina

In her startling collection of short stories, Broken Lives and Other Stories, Anthonia C. Kalu creates a series of memorable characters who struggle to hold displaced but dynamic communities together in a country that is at war with itself. Broken Lives and Other Stories presents a portrait of the ordinary women, children, and men whose lives have been battered by war in their homeland.

African Studies · African Authors · Western Africa · Literary Studies · Fiction · Nigeria · Women Authors · African Child · Childhood

Cover of 'Ministers of Fire'

Ministers of Fire
A Novel
By Mark Harril Saunders

Kabul, Afghanistan, 1979: CIA station chief Lucius Burling, an idealistic but flawed product of his nation’s intelligence establishment, barely survives the assassination of the American ambassador. Burling’s reaction to the murder, and his desire to understand its larger meaning, propel him on a journey of intrigue and betrayal that will reach its ultimate end in the streets of Shanghai, months after 9/11.

Thriller