PositiveThe Guardian (UK)... propulsive ... This compelling premise of a mother in search of her children powers a moving and dynamic novel. The pacing is swift, and Shearer writes in clear, energetic prose. There is an accessibility to the language that is refreshing; it buoys the narrative, giving us intimate access to a complex period in history ... This fictional account acts as a form of deep witnessing, an ode to the oral tradition and the slave communities it sustained ... There were instances where I wished the novel would pull back and allow me to experience the complexity simmering on the page; too often, the characters’ tears became the shorthand for deeper, complex, roiling emotions.
Robert Jones Jr
RaveThe Guardian (UK)It is not hyperbole to say that The Prophets evokes the best of Toni Morrison, while being its own distinct and virtuosic work. It is hard to believe this is a debut: where it falters, it does so in the way of ambitious novels – in a bid to innovate ... These two characters move with clarity and lyricism on the page, and their love is elevated to a powerful symbol that not only illuminates the workings of slavery, but forces others into action, unveiling deadly secrets, desires and follies ... The novel boasts an impressive cast of characters ... At the heart of the narrative is a tremendous generosity of spirit; each character, slave and enslaver, \'half-caste\' and overseer, is richly evoked, rendering the complexity of their desires and deprivations ... a novel wedded to its period but also of our times, exploring the pressing questions that have plagued America since its founding. It manages to be many things at once, stirring both the heart and the intellect in an exploration of human desire and depravity. A trenchant study of character, it is refreshing in its portrayal of the daily negotiations of humanity under slavery, practised by both the enslaved and the enslavers. It is an ode to an enduring love between two black boys ... Black queer love is at its most radical here. It represents a non-utilitarian love, a love that resists debasement. It delights and rages. Through it, the human demands to be seen. It becomes, in this magnificent novel, synonymous with freedom.
RaveThe Guardian (UK)... magnificent ... Dangarembga’s sentences are chromatic, rich and impressively precise with wonderful detail, capturing Tambu’s elusive struggles to slough off her heavy past ... the language takes on a Kafkaesque sensibility ... This Mournable Body is a sublime reckoning with the young, sparkling Tambu of Nervous Conditions by her wry, adult self, and by a young postcolonial nation with the betrayal of its convictions ... Dangarembga has written another classic.