Short Story #6: Dancing to the Jazz Goblin and His Rhythm (Brian Chikwava)

Deal Me In Reading Challenge: I drew the two of diamonds.

Story: Dancing to the Jazz Goblin and His Rhythm, by Brian Chikwava (from The Granta Book of the African Short Story)

Comments: A young man moves from Bulawayo to Harare, at his mother’s insistence.  “She had said, ‘I’m not disowning you, my child,  but it brings bad luck for a woman to keep on looking after a child who has grown a beard.’ ”  So he moves.  At first he comes under the influence of a jazz musician who sponges off him, but after a relatively short time the protagonist gets away from the Jazz Goblin and moves into a new flat on his own.  The move happens on the day on which Zimbabwean Independence is celebrated, 18 April.

And that’s it.  Am I missing something here?  Okay, so there’s the “independence” theme.  And – what?  Is the young man somehow supposed to represent the country?  At the end of this story I’m saying “So what?” and wondering if I need some kind of Interpreter’s Guide to this book.  Helon Habila’s Introduction doesn’t help any with this particular story.


5 thoughts on “Short Story #6: Dancing to the Jazz Goblin and His Rhythm (Brian Chikwava)

  1. Pingback: Deal Me In 2014: Week 5 Wrap-Up | Bibliophilopolis

  2. I like the quotation you share from the mother. Sounds like you’re not having a lot of luck with the stories in this book (so far, anyway). Maybe the luck of the draw will lead you “out of Africa” for your next story. 🙂

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