Gothataone Moeng

Teoksen Call and Response: Stories tekijä

2+ teosta 37 jäsentä 3 arvostelua

Tekijän teokset

Call and Response: Stories (2023) 36 kappaletta
Small Wonders 1 kappale

Associated Works

Long Time Coming. Short Writings from Zimbabwe (2008) — Avustaja — 6 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla


Serowe, Botswana



A debut collection of short stories set in contemporary Botswana. Gothataone Moeng has often vivid turns of phrase and a real knack for letting a character's words and actions show us who they are. I could "see" many of the people she talks about here—often young women feeling themselves pulled in various directions—with great clarity. There are some beautiful poignant moments here. But I found Call and Response to be more a series of vignettes/character studies than stories proper, with the individual pieces seeming to come to an end rather than truly finishing. And I think I could roll a little more easily with a story that faded out like that if I felt it had been written with a point in mind rather than a theme. That quibble aside, there's a great deal of promise here and I'll keep an eye out of Moeng's forthcoming novel.… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
siriaeve | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 27, 2023 |
I still go into the city sometimes. When it cannot be avoided, I, as we used to say, very-nice myself. I powder my face, paint my lips red, and subdue my body into skintight jeans. I brace myself for the city center and its deceptions.

The stories in this collection are all set in Botswana, most in the town of Serowe, but also in the Capitol city of Gabarone. Most are coming-of-age stories, mostly following young women as they try to find their way in a world sandwiched between traditional expectations and modern aspirations. The author grew up in Serowe, where she currently lives, but she attended university in the US and this collection is written with its western audience in mind.

Every winter, Mrs. Botho Kennekae's husband took time off from his driving job in the city and spent three weeks at the cattle-post, where he did whatever men did there--presumably off the softness they withheld from everyone to their cattle, for the cattle were the great loves of their lives, so beloved the men called them wet-nosed gods, so beloved the men agreed: without cattle, a man pined and lost his sleep; still, having cattle, a man fretted and lost his sleep.

Moeng writes well, but where she shines is in her character studies. From an earnest young man trying to avoid any sinful activity, to a lonely married woman who may not have told her family the truth about her life in Gabarone, all of Moeng's characters are wonderfully complex and full of life. I really enjoyed this peek into a place I know very little about.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
RidgewayGirl | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 24, 2023 |
Imbued with emotion and reflection, Call and Response will supply readers with a front-row seat into Batswana life. In 9 beautifully written, self-revelatory stories, we experience the inner turmoil and contradictions of embracing cultural traditions in post-colonial Botswana, inevitable shifts and changes in shared bonds between people, coming of age, navigating familial expectations, and the all too familiar event and memories of homecoming.

Be prepared to traverse around cities of Botswana, and witness the characters’ revelations of themselves as they answer their call.

I recommend this short story collection and rate it a 3.25. The writing is poignant and thought-provoking. That is what I most enjoyed about it. Despite my enjoyment of Moeng’s writing, the pacing of the stories did not compel me to reach for the book as much as I expected to. It would have been a perfect fit for me if the calling were stronger.

I suggest this book to readers who are seeking a slower-paced collection of stories, centered around mostly female characters.

Many thanks to Viking, Gothataone Moeng, and NetGalley for an Advanced Review Copy in exchange for an honest review. My review/reaction is voluntary, all thoughts are mine and unbiased, and receiving the Advanced Review Copy does not influence my rating and/or recommendation.

Full Review Here:
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
Jaleesa_RBTBC | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 7, 2023 |



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