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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

New On The Shelf At Fiction Books This Week

I was surprised and pleased to have author Tendai Huchu contact me again, with the request to read and review this, his second novel. I so enjoyed his debut book, ‘The Hairdresser Of Harare’ and have often wondered whether there would be more gems like it to come.

In ‘The Hairdresser Of Harare’, Tendai managed to blend just the right amount of social history about Zimbabwe, his country of birth, social comment about the lives of the Zimbabwean people in a typical community, together with just the right touches of humour and empathy. I therefore have very high hopes for this, his latest story, despite the rather tongue twister of a title 🙂

In his usual open and engaging style, Tendai has prepared a guest post which will be going to publishing in the next couple of weeks, so hopefully you will have the time to stop by and share ‘Ploughing My Own Furrow’


Three very different men struggle with thoughts of belonging, loss, identity and love as they attempt to find a place for themselves in Britain.

The Magistrate tries to create new memories and roots, fusing a wandering exploration of Edinburgh with music.

The Maestro, a depressed, quixotic character, sinks out of the real world into the fantastic world of literature.

The Mathematician, full of youth, follows a carefree, hedonistic lifestyle, until their three universes collide.

In this carefully crafted, multi-layered novel, Tendai Huchu, with his inimitable humour, reveals much about the Zimbabwe story, as he draws the reader deep into the lives of the three main characters.


Image Of Author Tendai HuchuTendai Huchu’s first novel, The Hairdresser of Harare, was released in 2010 to critical acclaim, and has been translated into German, French and Italian. His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The Manchester Review, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Gutter, Interzone, AfroSF, Wasafiri, Warscapes, The Africa Report, Kwani and numerous other publications. In 2013 he received a Hawthornden Fellowship and a Sacatar Fellowship. He was shortlisted for the 2014 Caine Prize. His new novel is The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician.

Tendai is from a small mining town called Bindura in Zimbabwe, although home these days is Edinburgh, Scotland. His interests are reading – a lot, playing chess, and walking. 

Catch up with the latest news on Tendai’s website

Follow Tendai on Twitter

Read Fiction Books Review Of ‘The Hairdresser Of Harare’ here

Writing gives me the freedom to express myself and explore ideas. Life is complex and we are fortunate to have fiction as a sort of Petri dish in which we can dissect life and study it over and over.

Picture of an English red post boxMailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house during the last week. Be warned that Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home, where links may be added each week. So why not stop by, leave a link to your own Mailbox Monday post, oh! and don’t forget to leave a comment for our three new joint administrators, after all, we all like to receive them … ‘Mailbox Monday’

Leslie of ‘Under My Apple Tree’

Serena of ‘Savvy Verse & Wit’

Vicki of ‘I’d Rather Be At The Beach’

This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • Hi Cindy,

      I have certainly enjoyed reading some of the more unconventional books which are out there in the marketplace, discovering some fantastic new to me authors and being introduced to some of the genres which I would never have ordinarily chosen to read.

      Blogging and Goodreads friends have also come up trumps, with some great recommendations of their own, thus ensuring that I shall never be short of a good book to read 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by Fiction Books this week. I love meeting new people, so your visits will always be welcome and your comments always appreciated.

    • Hi Mary,

      Whilst I do enjoy reading ‘mainstream’ fiction most of the time, I enjoy a good literary challenge once in a while and if it involves characters and situations from alternative cultures and I can become involved in their experiences, then so much the better.

      Thanks for stopping by Mary and I hope that your week is a good one 🙂

    • Hi Marthae,

      I am intrigued by the title, but I have to say that it isn’t particularly memorable and not one of my favourites. I was totally drawn to this one by the premise and the quality of the author’s previous work.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, I always appreciate it 🙂

    • Hi Bellezza,

      When an author contacts me direct for a review, I often wonder whether they will then go on to write more books and what has happened in their writing lives. It is always good to have an author make contact time and time again, as for one thing I feel that I might have made a small difference to them in the past and I can see how their writing style and genre of writing may have changed over time.

      Either way, I love the personal interaction with both authors and all the lovely bloggers I meet along the way 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your week.

    • Hi Mystica,

      I have still to finish another couple of books, before I get to this one, however I must admit that I keep eyeing it up with intrigue!

      Thanks for stopping by, I hope that all is well with you and have a good week 🙂

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      All three characters sound very individual, quirky and unique, despite their common goal of fitting into a new country and society.

      In his first book, Tendai injected just the right amount of humour and pathos into both the characters and the situations they got themselves into, without the humour taking over the storyline.

      It does sound as though Tendai is on top form with this story and mix of characters, so I can’t wait to discover whether the format is in any way similar to ‘The Hairdresser Of Harare’, in which case he is surely onto a winner.

      I haven’t had a completely empty mailbox for quite some time, although my books do seem to arrive singly for some reason and even with this most suitable arrangemt, I still lag behind on so many fronts, with my posting.

      Thanks as always for stopping by, I appreciate your support 🙂

  • This books sounds very interesting! I look forward to the guest post and must check out his first book in the meantime.

    My only addition was a small collection of short stories, one of which is the basis for an upcoming film I want to watch.

    • Hi Kelly,

      I really enjoyed Tendai’s style of writing, in his debut novel, ‘The Hairdresser Of Harare’, which was one of the very early posts I put up onto the blog and I think before you and I became blogging buddies 🙂

      I’ll leave you a link to the post which gives you info about the book, the author and my thoughts …. see what you think.


      I still don’t tend to read much in the way of short stories, although I do have quite a few collections in my TBR pile. Do you generally watch the film first, or read the story?

      I hope that you are having a good week and thanks for stopping by 🙂

      • I don’t read many short story collections, either, but always seem to enjoy them when I do.

        I always try to read a book before I see a film, but sometimes I don’t even realize there WAS a book first! (Like Forrest Gump). If I don’t, I often find it difficult to ever go back and read the book. A good example would be Gone With the Wind. I finally downloaded Margaret Mitchell’s book to my Kindle a few years ago, but don’t know if I’ll ever get around to reading it.

        • Like you say, I quite often don’t realise that there has been both a book and a film. We have often watched a film, only to learn in the credits that it was based on a book, although I never then have the urge to go off and read the book. I think that the element of surprise has been and gone at that point!

    • Hi Serena,

      I agree. You so often hear of books, be they fiction or non-fiction, which deal with the issue of women finding their place in society and integrating with an unknown culture, yet seldom do books come along which highlight the identical problems which men can also face.

      I am sure that the book will raise all kinds of issues surrounding race, religion and culture and I shall be interested to see exactly how author, Tendai Huchu deals with the different issues and if, as in his debut novel ‘The Hairdresser Of Harare’, he manages to inject any wry humour into the situation.

      Thanks for stopping by this week and for continuing in helping to promote and host Mailbox Monday 🙂

    • Hi Tracy,

      I can’t quite remember and I couldn’t find the ‘search’ button on your blog, or any mention on the Goodreads page for the book, but did you read Tendai’s debut novel ‘The Hairdresser Of Harare’?

      If this book is anywher near as good, then we are both in for a treat 🙂

  • I love the title! That draws me to books more than the covers ans then at times more than the story. Right now The Cerulean’s Secret is my current read, I recommend it. About genomic technology in the near future, a great thriller. It’s by Dennis Meredith, dennismeredith.com for the info.

    • Hi Mari,

      I have to say that the cover art for this book is totally forgettable, for me personally. Likewise the title is still continually getting me tongue-tied and saying it all back to front.

      However, the premise is unique and intriguing and after reading the author’s debut novel a couple of years ago, there is simply no way I would have passed on the opportunity to read this, his latest literary fiction.

      ‘The Cerulean’s Secret’ definitely isn’t one for me I’m afraid, but I love that cover! I am not a huge cat fan per se though, so the thought of of a three hundred pound, blue fur, night vision, killing machine cat, stalking me, is quite frankly the stuff of nightmares! Although I did laugh at the notion of ‘snurtles’ and ‘hamakeets’ 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by Fiction Books this week. I love meeting new people, so your visits will always be welcome and your comments always appreciated.

  • The Hairdresser Of Harare sounds different and interesting, I hope you enjoy it. I’ve never read a book having to do with this Zimbabwe.
    I like the authors snippet on writing.

    • Hi Naida,

      ‘The Hairdresser Of Harare’ was Tendai’s debut novel, which I have already read and reviewed and which I have to say, was a very interesting storyline, with some very quirky and intriguing characters, yet always with the hidden undercurrent of the social and racial tensions, which still exist in Zimbabwe.

      ‘The Maestro, The Magistrate and The Mathematician’, sounds as though it is going to be highlighting the social and racial tensions which exist here in the UK, as the three Zimbabwean men try to find their place in the scheme of British life. I guess this is going to make for some uncomfortable reading moments for me and show up a few home truths!

      Looking back on some of the books I have actually read over the 5 years I have been blogging and receiving review requests, I am amazed at the many countries and cultures I have explored and the enjoyment and education I have received form some of the excellent authors.

      Thanks for visiting and be sure to stop by when Tendai presents his guest post 🙂

Written by Yvonne