Non Fiction

The Bullet in the Pawpaw by Kim Hope

I have been lucky to find a lot more non-fiction to read this year than in previous years. I was invited to view this particular book. My review, however, is solely based on my reading experience.

This is the story of a woman who was just going through life, who suddenly found a calling and worked long and hard to keep that going. Kim happened to visit South Africa as a visiting actor in a drama troupe. This is a chance occurrence due to a passing suggestion. This last bit has fueled a few things in my life, so I understand the way she looks at how the trajectory of her life changes from then. The narrative was engrossing in the beginning, but there is a lot of time and experience that passes by before she actually begins the ‘Themba project’. As a work of non-fiction, it provides a lot of interesting information on topics that I had very little knowledge about previously. She talks about the socio-economic condition and the moods and emotions of the people rebuilding a country post Apartheid. That said, it felt very disjointed, and I could not read it continuously and found my attention wandering. It might have helped me if the story was presented in a slightly altered fashion. The timelines felt a little disjointed, and I was only heartened when I saw the actual workshop contents listed at the end because during the story I wanted to know a bit more about the mechanics of the process.

It is a different story, a take on how the ‘lighter’ aspects of life can play a crucial role in people’s life. I would recommend it to those who like to know more about how theatre can participate in being more than something people just watch.

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I am adding this to #1 of my Non-Fiction Challenge 2020

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