Eriza – A Nurse’s Journey, a Family’s Hope and a Nation’s Road to Freedom￼
Peter Molife, a promising new voice in the literary world and genre of African literature, proudly announces the publication of his debut novel, Eriza, published in England by independent publishing house Conscious Dreams Publishing.
The story is of Eriza who hails from the fictional, small, rural village of Chena in pre-independence Zimbabwe. Her story is an enchanting tale of rural life, the twists and turns of family dynamics and the immigrant journey that spans a 20-year period from the 1960s to 1980 when Rhodesia became Zimbabwe.
Being an intelligent girl, her father encourages Eriza’s full potential and she secures a place to train as a nurse in England. Though she is excited at the chance to expand her horizons and improve life for her family in their homestead, her heart remains firmly in Chena. As she embraces all that 1960s England has to offer – freedom of speech, relationships, multiculturalism and racism – she is enthralled by the rapid and dramatic changes that reshape her family, village and country, as well as some shocking discoveries, all fueled by the raging War of Independence.
The author skillfully portrays a fresh perspective on aspects of the immigrant experience including straddling two cultures, the main character’s coming-of-age and the expectation and ambivalence of returning to a changed nation. All the characters are memorable, the scenes of rural life vivid, and the experiences of a village girl manoeuvering her way through life in a big, foreign city captivating.
Peter Molife originates from Msengezi. He started studies at the University of Zimbabwe which he then completed in Leeds, England before embarking on his career in education primarily in the Caribbean and England. His time in various Caribbean countries informs his appreciation of the intersection of African cultures around the world a theme that features heavily in the book.
Growing up in Msengezi is however the main inspiration for the book and he recalls seeing how women would leave their villages to improve the lives of their families which in turn inspired others to do the same; it is something he saw in his own family too.
“The migration of Zimbabwean women had a significant impact on families including my own, and it still has today. I saw how much our life changed after my sister came to England to study nursing. Then there was the fact that men also became inspired to pursue the profession when it had always been seen as the domain of women. In addition to that, I was inspired to write this book because women became more involved in the political liberation of Zimbabwe through their professional achievements and the urge to go back to Zimbabwe to help their fellow people. They were true political agitators.”
Daniella Blechner, founder of Conscious Dreams Publishing, speaks highly of Peter’s work. “The world needs more works of literature from Peter. At Conscious Dreams Publishing, we are passionate about providing a platform for strong and powerful underrepresented voices that have important stories that need to be preserved… In Eriza, Peter reflects on the rapidly changing political and social climate of 1960s Rhodesia vividly, whilst also drawing contrasts between 1960s UK and Eriza’s rural village, Chena.”
This debut novel is poised to engage readers from a range of backgrounds with its insights on family, the migrant experience of the intersection of black cultures and the history of Zimbabwe’s road to independence. It’s available to purchase via Amazon, through Conscious Dreams Publishing and will be available in bookshops in the next month.
You can purchase the book via Amazon