I was lucky enough to read A Hole in the Air by Lazarus Panashe Nyagwambo and I hope everyone who comes across this review reads it, too.
There is something particularly pleasurable in reading stories based in places that I recognise, using ways of speaking that I almost never read in print. As a Zimbabwean, this hardly ever happens. With Nyagwambo’s stories, it's more than just familiar suburbs and street names, it’s experiences and emotions.
“... lingering on the worst parts of his pasts and present, stretching them out and filling him with dread for the future that made him feel as if he was trapped underwater.” Phew, Lazarus isn’t messing around, hey? It is extremely difficulty to be young in Zimbabwe, or to be at the beginning of your life journey. Yearning to build and grow and be independent, hope that is sometimes suffocating, perseverance that feels pointless. He taps into these emotions in a way that made me want to put the book down. I mean this, in the absolute best way possible.
I haven’t read many short story collections and A Hole in the Air has me feeling like I’ll pick up some more. It’s exciting to see the author’s range not just in the stories he’s telling but the language he uses and the tone he sets. I remember reading Yesterday’s Colours and being surprised and pleased by the change in tone compared to the stories before. I really enjoyed this story about a man recounting his most significant relationship to date. Lazarus Panashe Nyagwambo displays his skill as a writer through this collection of stories and I really look forward to reading what he does next.
I’m not going to go into too much detail on the stories themselves but I really encourage people to pick up this book and support this talented up and coming writer. Highly recommend *chef’s kiss*