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Waiting (Women Writing Africa)by Goretti Kyomuhendo
Synopses & Reviews
Set during the last year of the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin’s brutal regime, Waiting exposes the fear and courage of a small, close-knit community uncertain of what the edicts of a madman and the marauding of his uncontrollable army will bring with each coming day. As Amin’s war with Ugandan exiles and the Tanzanian army comes to an end, one family learns what it takes to survive and eventually to plan for a new life.
Goretti Kyomuhendo won the Uganda National Literary Award for Best Novel of the Year in 1999. She currently directs FEMRITE, a women’s publishing house in Uganda.
"Ugandan author Kyomuhendo's unsettling and richly atmospheric U.S. debut illustrates the terrible plight of a family struggling to survive the last months of Idi Amin's brutal dictatorship in 1979. Terrorized by Amin's soldiers fleeing Tanzanian forces allied with anti-Amin Ugandans, 13-year old Alinda hides out with her family on a farm in the western town of Hoima. Her postal clerk father snatches news of the invading soldiers from the city, while eldest son Tendo serves as a semi-reliable lookout. Grandmother Kaaka, younger daughter Maya, and other neighbors sharing the hideout, along with Alinda's pregnant mother, who goes into labor just as the soldiers arrive. Although the baby miraculously survives, Alinda's mother is killed, and Alinda must cook and care for the smaller children. Difficulties arise as brother Tendo runs off to join the 'Liberators,' and Alinda's female friend, Jungu, an outcast child of mixed Indian and black heritage, falls in love with a Tanzanian solider and aims to become the first female member of the army. The book, however, is less about plot than Kyomuhendo's strong portrayals of characters such as Uncle Kembo, who returns to recant his mercenary conversation to Islam, and the so-called Lendu woman, a Zairian foreigner considered a witch because of her knowledge of healing herbs. Kyomuhendo delineates the strife of her war-torn country with vivid, unflinching verve." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Ugandans in a remote but closely knit community survive the end of Idi Amin's rule.
About the Author
Kyomuhendo (1965- ) was born and raised in Hoima, Western Uganda. She started writing in 1992 for Kampala-based newspapers and has since expanded in writing fiction; she has published four novels. Kyomuhendo also co-founded FEMRITE, a women's publishing house, and is currently working as their Program Coordinator.
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