Nervous Conditions

by Tsitsi Dangarembga | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 070434100x Global Overview for this book
Registered by drommie of Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv Israel on 4/13/2003
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
17 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by drommie from Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv Israel on Sunday, April 13, 2003
Winner of Africa Section of Commonwealth Writers Prize 1989. Zimbabwean woman writer.

Journal Entry 2 by drommie from Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv Israel on Monday, April 28, 2003
Sent off by post to jmg49 in Canada, who was intrigued by the description. Happy reading!

Journal Entry 3 by jmg49 from Woodstock, Ontario Canada on Monday, May 05, 2003
Thank you drommie. I will journal again when I have read it.

Journal Entry 4 by jmg49 from Woodstock, Ontario Canada on Friday, June 13, 2003
I have started an international bookray for “Nervous Conditions” by Tsitsi Dangarembga.
So far these bookcrossers have joined.
nrrdgrrl Hilversum Netherlands
mfa Lisboa Portugal
letra Lisboa Portugal
Betsy-STL Missouri USA
lightwavz Michigan USA
16stepper Arizona USA
DrBrown California USA
Hawkette Melbourne Australia
luffliffloaf Ohio USA
Kernow8 Virginia USA
booklemur England

loopy1 England
tembo Bonn Germany
fio-dagua Porto Portugal
LarkOnapost Oregon USA
spark California USA
Theresa-A - England
tsmith51632 Iowa USA
Rappody Olive Branch, Mississippi USA
starbytes Kuala Lumpur, Selangor Malaysia

This is the order of the bookray.
Before each person is ready to send the book on, he or she should send the next person on the list a pm asking for their address.

Journal Entry 5 by jmg49 at on Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Released on Tuesday, June 17, 2003 at in Eikenlaan, Hilversum Netherlands.

To nrrdgrrl, the first member in the bookray. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 6 by nrrdgrrl from Johannesburg - Fourways, Gauteng South Africa on Wednesday, June 25, 2003
wow! one week it's dead silent (even the books i sent off myself haven't arrived yet) and the next, two books arrive on the same day. that feels a lot better :o)

i'm much looking forward to reading this book as i seek to get into modern african writing. it's exciting to taste works that are appreciated in africa and to get a chance to compare ideas. thanks for the opportunity jmg! i hope to start soon after i finish my current bookring book.

Journal Entry 7 by nrrdgrrl from Johannesburg - Fourways, Gauteng South Africa on Friday, July 04, 2003
this is not an easy book to get into. the story takes lots of detours, making me kind of anxious to know what happened after the cliffhanger, whilst endlessly lingering on to specify the important details.

so far - i've read three chapters now - it's also a very feminist story, rebelling fiercely against the patriarchial culture. i wonder what's next.

Journal Entry 8 by nrrdgrrl from Johannesburg - Fourways, Gauteng South Africa on Sunday, July 06, 2003
while reading on i was a lot less impatient than before, and soon had no idea why i found the first three chapters so hard to chew.

the raving reviews (inside and outside the book) tell of a great colonial story. i do not agree. the story is great indeed; well told, well paced. enough background, not in explanatory mode.

it is, however, not at all a colonial tale. the struggle for the right to choose one's own future against traditional values is way more universal than that.

and therefore a tale of all times. expanded to current news: north african immigrant families trying to cope with western european values. a very hot subject here. and i can imagine middle-american families having similar problems whilst moving up north, trying to find a better future for their children.

in fact colonialism is a very minor subject in this book. the story does have to do with emancipation of individuals and groups. the eternal choices of adapting too much or too little, of enduring or fighting, of the value and the trap of tradition.

imho it applies to any group trying to climb up in society, having to leave old values and choosing new ones, trying to make the right choices without loosing oneself.

for the women the hard fight againt patriarchism, against people who claim to know from age-old experience what is right for you. for the men the big change from being a group protector to being called a dictator, being accused of buying loyalties while intending to achieve the best for the entire group.

all this in a well told story, with protagonists you'll root for, and more hope than despair. and the old belief that people who work hard will always be able to determine their own future. if only that could always come true...

Released on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 at controlled release in hilversum, noord-holland Netherlands.

in postoffice off to mfa.

last time i sent a book to portugal - just a bit more than a day's ride away - it took ten whole days. i had looked up the postage on the net and happily glued away at home. and waited... and waited...
so now i went to the post office, to send priority!

Journal Entry 10 by mfa from Lisboa - City, Lisboa (cidade) Portugal on Friday, July 11, 2003
just got the book...thank you nrrdgrrl!

Journal Entry 11 by mfa from Lisboa - City, Lisboa (cidade) Portugal on Friday, July 25, 2003
after spending quite some time reading about post-colonial feminist writing, i finally got my hands on a proper example. although one is indeed led to feel that the main trouble is patriarchy, and that is no doubt beyond colonialism and its aftermath, this novel shows how women face a double burden as colonised people. not only do they share the limbo between tradition and innovation that might lead to the vanishing of one's identity, but also they must fight inside their own system if they want their difference to be respected. i was especially impressed by nyasha, with all her intelligence and power, falling pray to a disease some doctores don't find her suitable to as an african. and it was also very disturbing to come to terms with the malign role people like babamukuru play as a means to further colonisation despite so much education. he never lets go of his patriarch role, maybe because it fits in both worlds he lives in so well. i couldn't leave the nuns' racism unoticed either, with their separate rooms for african girls in their own country. fair play to lucy, maiguru and nyasha!

Journal Entry 12 by letra on Saturday, July 26, 2003
I've just got the book (and an orange juice) from MFA...

Journal Entry 13 by letra on Friday, August 01, 2003
Here's another great book I probably would miss if it wasn't for BookCrossing.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It made me think of Alice Walker's The Colour Purple, which is also about being a black woman and which I'll probably re-read one of these days.

Being a recent mother, I probably gave a special atention to all the details about Tambudzai's little sisters and brother and their relationship with their mother. Also for personal reasons, I was impressed by the character Nyasha, her disease and the way it progressed unnoticed for so long.

One of my favorite passages is the one where Lucia comes to the homestead and helps Tambudzai's mother out of her depression.

One more thing: I found this site and this site about Tsitsi Dangarembga's works that some of you might find interesting.

Thanks for sharing :)

Journal Entry 14 by letra at on Friday, August 01, 2003
Released on Friday, August 01, 2003 at mailed to another bookcrosser in Lisboa, lisboa Portugal.

It's on the way to Betsy in the US.

Journal Entry 15 by Betsy-STL from St. Louis, Missouri USA on Friday, August 08, 2003
Rec'd via mail today. Thanks to jmg49 for sharing his book and to letra for mailing it to me. I'll journal again after I read it.

Journal Entry 16 by Betsy-STL from St. Louis, Missouri USA on Friday, August 15, 2003
An interesting story of African life and the differences made between the male and female youth and their roles.

I felt sorry for Nyasha as she suffered from her eating disorder without anyone to help her. She was slowly killing herself and her parents didn't recognize that she had a serious illness that warranted professional help.

I enjoyed the book but I felt like I needed to know more at the end of the book.

Release planned for Saturday, August 16, 2003 at Postal Release in USPS, postal release USA.

Releasing to Lightwavz. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 18 by lightwavz from Detroit, Michigan USA on Tuesday, August 26, 2003
Received yesterday in the mail bundle (LOTS of books!). This one is next up in the TBR list and I promise to speed-read to keep it moving... I have really been looking forward to reading this one. In fact before I found the bookring, I was thinking of buying a copy... Of course I still might buy a copy to pass along! I will journal my thoughts when I finish reading...

Journal Entry 19 by lightwavz from Detroit, Michigan USA on Saturday, September 06, 2003
I found this book hard to get into as well... I had to adjust my pace to that of the narrative style. But when I did start to get involved in the plot, I found it difficult to put this one down. I identified with Tambu when she had to face the betrayal by Nhamo and I had the same mixed feelings when he died. The most difficult part of the novel for me was when the nuns arrived to do their testing. I almost felt personally betrayed when they started their underhanded selection process. Then when Tambu and Nyasha arrived at the dorm, I thought, "AHA! I was right!!" Not fair. Not right. I'm not sure that I could survive in a society where the elder male has the say over the entire extended family as Babamukuru did. It made me really step back and appreciate my personal life and lifestyle. I grew up in a small university town where many cultures were represented, but I never immersed myself in another culture like Nyasha and Chido had to do when they moved to England. It must be terrible to be outsiders in both cultures... And I understand how Tambu was considered an outcast by her mother as well. Without writing about every single bit of the plot, I would like to say that I sincerely enjoyed reading this book and I will recommend it to others as well.

This one is on the road next to 16stepper in Arizona (to whom I mailed another book to this morning! If only I had realized!)...

Thanks again for including me on the bookring! It is exciting to read a book that has visited so many different countries and cultures!

Journal Entry 20 by 16stepper from Gilbert, Arizona USA on Friday, September 12, 2003
This arrived today along with SEVEN other bookrays. Oh my! And I already have 15 here. So I am engaging warp drive and reading faster!

Journal Entry 21 by 16stepper from Gilbert, Arizona USA on Tuesday, October 14, 2003
I received this a month ago, along with a deluge of other rays. I have 3-1/2 rays in front of this and am reading as fast as I can. Hope to have this done in another couple of weeks.

Journal Entry 22 by 16stepper from Gilbert, Arizona USA on Friday, November 07, 2003
This is a thoroughly engrossing coming-of-age tale in addition to the political exploration of feminism, racism, and cultural hijacking. My only complaint with this book is the ending. It is quite abrupt and, having read it at about 1 am, it ruined my sleep last night! I could not stop my mind from running on about what would happen next for Tambu, Lucia, Nyasha, and Maiguru. Thanks for sharing this book. It goes out to DrBrown in today's mail.

Journal Entry 23 by DrBrown from Sierra Madre, California USA on Tuesday, November 11, 2003
This arrived yesterday! I'm looking forward to reading it and continuing the chain. Thanks for setting this up and thanks to all who are participating.

Journal Entry 24 by DrBrown from Sierra Madre, California USA on Thursday, November 20, 2003
Once I got used to Dangarembga's style, I really enjoyed this one.... the story is painful, but I felt like I was reading a kindred spriti.

Journal Entry 25 by Hawkette from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, December 02, 2003
This well travelled book has arrived in Australia. I will add it to my list of bookrays in my company, and read it soon. Thanks!

Journal Entry 26 by Hawkette from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, January 11, 2004
I really enjoyed Tambu's voice throughout this book. A story about being female is colonised Rhodesia, the sexism that exists in the depicted African culture and family structure, and the racism that the White man's ways introduces. The lack of opportunity and voice that these young girls faced, and their fight to be heard, and to be allowed to make some decisions about their own lives themselves, was told in such a way that it made you feel like Tambu was right there with you telling the story to you in person.

Journal Entry 27 by Hawkette from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, January 21, 2004
I am still sending PMs to try and get an address to send this one to the next interested reader! Second PM going to the second name down. Will send out as soon as I get an address!

Journal Entry 28 by luffliffloaf from Akron, Ohio USA on Friday, March 19, 2004
Well, I apologize for the delay, but I have finished the book and I enjoyed it immensely. It was a little hard starting, but once I was into it I had trouble putting it down!I will try to send it on soon.

Journal Entry 29 by Kernow8 from Southampton, Hampshire United Kingdom on Thursday, May 13, 2004
Just received in the mail. This one will accompany me back to England where I can get it to booklemur... Should be just over a month with me. Thanks!

Journal Entry 30 by Kernow8 from Southampton, Hampshire United Kingdom on Monday, June 28, 2004
This is a great story for any age, although I imagine that it would appeal particularly to teenage girls. There is a lot to think about in the short 200 page novel. I read this because of a "further reading" recommendation by the author of "Don't Let's Go To the Dogs Tonight" and it complements that book perfectly, "Dogs" being written from the autobiographical perspective of a white colonial teenage daughter in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe.

I'm waiting for booklemur's address and will send this on when I get it. Thanks jmg49!

Journal Entry 31 by booklemur on Friday, July 02, 2004
Arrived today! My increasingly erratic and odd postman left this one leaning on my door.

Thanks Kernow8, drommie, and jmg49!

Released 15 yrs ago (9/3/2004 UTC) at -- Controlled Release in -- By post or by hand --, Greater London United Kingdom



Sent to the next reader on the list. This was a wonderful, oddly calming reading experience, despite the characters' difficult lives. I hope Loopy enjoys it as much as I did!

I apologize to all others on the ring for holding on to this for so long.

Journal Entry 33 by loopy1 from Herne Bay, Kent United Kingdom on Saturday, September 04, 2004
The book arrived this morning in a sunny and dry Kent (I say that to make up for the journal entries where I've mentioned a soggy Kent!).
I've really enjoyed reading bookcrossing books that have increased my knowledge of the world around me, and this one looks like another good one. I'll be reading it as soon as I've finished my current book. Thanks!

Journal Entry 34 by loopy1 from Herne Bay, Kent United Kingdom on Monday, September 20, 2004
Another good read from bookcrossing!

I think I agree with just about all the previous readers' comments. It's difficult to think of anything new to say :-)
I really enjoyed the glimpse into a whole different way of life. It was fascinating just how close the two lifestyles reached. It felt incredibly difficult to me to cross between the two easily, but Tamba took it for granted.
It was thoughtprovoking how difficult it was to become educated without becoming part of the colonisation process. One moment that stands out is the woman who was so shocked by Tamba selling her mealies to raise money for school that she gave her what was to Tamba an absolute fortune. That really brought out the difference between rich and poor to me.

Journal Entry 35 by tembo from Emmerich, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Monday, October 04, 2004
The book arrived today

Journal Entry 36 by tembo from Emmerich, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Friday, November 05, 2004
A simply great book which I really enjoyed! As I have nothing to add to the previous comments I am keeping this journal short.

Fio-dagua asked to be skipped. Hence the book is on its way to LarkOnapost.

Journal Entry 37 by LarkOnapost from Xiamen, Fujian China on Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Dangarembga has arrived safely in Oregon, and I am looking forward to reading this book.

Journal Entry 38 by LarkOnapost from Xiamen, Fujian China on Saturday, January 15, 2005
Good book, but I felt the ending wasn't as strong as I would have liked. It felt much more like a memoir than a novel.

Tambudzai is a very charismatic heroine.

I found it interesting that the patriarch saw ritual as a solution to the families' issues. The only discussion was- which ritual would be appropriate. I'm very happy to have read this book. Thanks to all for sharing.

It's off to Mississippi next as I did not receive a reply from the other bookcrossers on the list. Maybe Rappody can try them when she is finished with it.

Journal Entry 39 by LarkOnapost from Xiamen, Fujian China on Saturday, April 02, 2005
Just a note to say I don't know if Rappody ever received this book. I mailed it months ago, and have written a pm to rappody, but it is either lost in the mail or rappody isn't getting messages, or???

Journal Entry 40 by Rappody from Olive Branch, Mississippi USA on Monday, April 04, 2005
Sorry for not making and entry earlier. I am ready to pass this book on. I have emailed for the address and will forward as soon as I get a reply.

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