279pp., illus., paperback, Johannesburg, 2020
Flora Vent-Wild on her relationship with Zimbabwean writer Dambudzo Marechera, from 1983 until his death from HIV-related pneumonia in August 1987.
"They Called you Dambudzo is literary scholar Flora Veit-Wild's deeply courageous and compelling memoir of one of Africa's greatest writers, the Zimbabwean modernist Dambudzo Marechera. Veit-Wild interlaces dialogue, poetry, anecdote and vivid portraiture to achieve something truly extraordinary. She not only gives the full story frame by frame of her fraught and passionate relationship with the writer, she also recalls us to the genius and presence of his work, and of the loss to African literature that his early death represented. They Called you Dambudzo sheds new and renewing light on Marechera's remarkable talent and on the power of literary friendship. This book deserves its place among the classics of Zimbabwean literature." Ellen Boehmer, Professor of World Literature in English, University of Oxford
Flora Veit-Wild is Emerita Professor of African Literatures at Humboldt University, Berlin, and the custodian of Marechera's life and work. She lived in Harare, Zimbabwe, from 1983 to 1993, where she was a founder member of the Zimbabwe Women Writers.
She is the author of Writing Madness, borderlines of the body in African literature, Dambudzo Marechera, a source book on his life and work and Teachers, Preachers, Non-believers, a social history of Zimbabwean literature and co-editor of Emerging Perspectives on Dambudzo Marechera. She edited Marachera's The Dark Insider and Scrapiron Blues, and the poetry collection, Cemetery of Mind: collected poems of Dambudzo Marechera.