Harvest of Thorns
by Shimmer Chinodya
The 1990 Commonwealth Writers Regional Prize voted Harvest of Thorns the winner in the Best Book category. Harvest of Thorns tells the story of Benjamin Tichafa who grows up in Rhodesia in the 1960s. From a conservative, religious family, but exposed to the heady ideas of the black nationalist movements, the young student is pulled in different directions. Isolated and troubled at boarding school, he is provoked into leaving, making his way to Mozambique, and joining the freedom fighters. There, in the crucible of a bitter civil war of liberation, the young man develops into manhood. Returning, hardened, at independence, he feels that little has changed, not least within his own family circumstances, and asks himself what it means to be free in the new Zimbabwe.