On our Lists this week: Freshwater, Chimurenga, Darkie Fiction and Diana Vreeland

THE READING LIST

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. A few months ago Maneo Mohale reviewed this novel for Friday. I was so captured by the review that I had Freshwater on a list of gifts to myself but, luckily, a friend gave it to me. In the book we watch the protagonist negotiate their existence and misplacement as an ogbanje, a collective of Igbo spirits that manifest in a human body. Having known of the author beforehand, something about the book reads like their life. As Mohale puts it: “Emezi unfolds a story that itself shifts between boundaries: between life and death, fiction and autobio-graphy, as well as self and subject.” I haven’t stopped crying since I started reading Freshwater. Not because it’s beautiful but because of the way it is gently nudging me in the direction of figuring out who my spirit is. (ZH)

Chimurenga’s Zimbabwe Issue. Launched earlier this year, Chimurenga’s special edition on Zimbabwe reads like a long drive through the country’s landscape. I haven’t read everything yet because this kind of publication is best enjoyed slowly. But look out for some gratifying reading by Zimbabwe’s finest, including Percy Zvomuya, Farai Mudzingwa, Bongani Kona, Simbarashe Mumera, Panashe Chigumadzi and Tinashe Mushakavanhu and artwork by Nontsikelelo Mutiti. And, naturally, the design and layout is tiptop. (MB)

THE PLAY LIST

Bhoza by Darkie Fiction: Move over Carters, my favourite duo has come through for me and I no longer need you. And you know why? It’s because sis’ Yoza and Katt Daddy’s music is some much needed gospel for my ears. This jam has reminded me that the capitalism devil is a liar and it’s time for the boss in me to phakama because ixesha lisondele. And because its Darkie Fiction you can expect the perfect beat and flow to twalatsa to. (ZH)

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel. Directed by the cultural icon’s granddaughter-in-law, Lisa Immordino Vreeland, this visually exhilarating documentary on Diana Vreeland’s life is one of the best films I’ve ever seen. Following one of the most eccentric and inspiring characters of the 20th century, the film delves into Vreeland’s enormous influence as the world’s first fashion editor. With interviews with her family, photographers, models and other fashion editors, we see details of her meticulous reign over Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Using first-person audio recordings of her deliciously smoky voice over B-roll footage from films such as Funny Face and Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo? (which were inspired by her life), this, for me, is truly how you remember an icon. (MB)

The Lists were compiled by Milisuthando Bongela, Kwanele Sosibo, and Zaza Hlalethwa

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