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Capturing language and its subversion to explore dislocation and (un)belonging

19 November 2019 - 13:44 By Modjaji Books
'Agringada: Like a Gringa, Like a Foreigner' by Tariro Ndoro.
'Agringada: Like a Gringa, Like a Foreigner' by Tariro Ndoro.
Image: Modjaji Books

You wear silence
sitting on the concrete floor of a library
a shroud like speech
Language does not belong to you ...

In her debut poetry collection, Tariro Ndoro divides and intermingles national and personal history in an attempt to reach herself.

Agringada: Like a Gringa, Like a Foreigner is an honest exploration of dislocation and (un)belonging in its forms: exile from language, exile from country and exile from sanity.

Within its fragmented prose and lyrical poems, Agringada is not only a celebrated capture of language, but also of its intriguing subversion as it navigates meetings of class, gender, nationality and race.

About the author:

Tariro Ndoro is a Zimbabwean poet and storyteller. Born in Harare and raised in a smattering of small towns, Ndoro holds a BSc in microbiology and an MA in creative writing.

Her work has been published in numerous international journals and anthologies, including 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry (Brittle Paper, 2018), Kotaz, New Contrast, Oxford Poetry and Puerto del Sol.

Her poetry has been shortlisted for the 2018 Babishai Niwe Poetry Prize and awarded second place for the 2017 Dalro Prize.

Ndoro lives in Johannesburg. 


“A love song to language, and all her betrayals and liberations; a linguist’s dance through political, psychological and psychic borders. My favourite 2019 read so far.”
— Megan Ross (Milk Fever)

“Tariro Ndoro wields multiple tongues in this testimony of human survival. The reader is hauled through southern African borders and left too afraid to stop reading or, even wallow in self-pity. Yet, she reminds us that we are still alive. Powerfully, Agringada speaks life into things that suffocate when we are too afraid to name them.”
— Katleho Kano Shoro (Serurubele)