“A passionate, anguished novel of about women’s role in traditional Muslim society in the 1950s and 60s, and about the injustice of white oppression.”
Fatima Kara is a Zimbabwean writer living in the USA.
The Train House on Lobengula Street, her first novel, grows out of her childhood experiences in the Indian community in Bulawayo, Rhodesia and the inspirational response of the community’s strong women to the racial discrimination that was extended towards all non-Whites.
The book was shortlisted for the UK’s Laxfield Literary Launch Prize in 2020.
The author has an MFA from Spalding University in Kentucky. When not writing, she propagates fruit and nut trees, and plants them in schools and rural communities around Zimbabwe.
The Kassims are a traditional Indian Muslim family, living in Southern Rhodesia in the 1950s and 60s, where they enjoy a wealth of new opportunities but are held down by white racism and are torn apart by their own changing values.
Kulsum wants her daughters to have an education that will expand their horizons; Razaak fears that education will make the girls unmarriageable within the Khumbar caste.
Feeling sidelined by Kulsum’s modernity and her other achievements, Razaak defers to his father and sends their daughters to a less sophisticated branch of the family over 1000 miles away in rural Uganda.
How should Kulsum respond?
In this affectionate picture of a little-documented African cultural milieu, first-time author Fatima Kara digs into her own memories of life as a Gujarati in Bulawayo, conjuring up the brilliant colours, mouth-watering foods, exotic plant life and social tensions of a region she remains devoted to and wants us to love as she does. The Train House on Lobengula Street is Part One of an entrancing two-part story.
The Train House on
EXTENT 404 pages
SIZE 203mm x 127mm (8” x 5”)
BIC CODES FA, FM, FQ, ASZB
GENRES Fiction, Africa, Colonialism, Politics, Muslim religion, Indian culture, Rhodesia
PUBLICATION DATE 6 April 2023
PR/PUBLICITY Dr Stephen Games