Petina Gappah


Petina Gappah is a lawyer and writer who was raised in Zimbabwe. She writes in both English and her native ChiKaranga, also called Shona. She lives in France with her son Kush and works as an international lawyer in Geneva, Switzerland. Gappah’s first book, the critically-acclaimed short story collection An Elegy For Easterly won the Guardian First Book Award in 2009. Her second novel The Book Of Memory (2015, translated into Finnish 2017) has been longlisted for the inaugural edition of the Financial Times/Oppenheimer Funds Award. Narrated from Chikurubi Maximum Prison by the only woman in Zimbabwe on death row, The Book Of Memory has been described as a “compelling and haunting novel about the impossible and extraordinary things that people do for love, and the inexorable power of fate.”

Photo: Patrick Bertschmann