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Rotten Row is Petina Gappa’s forthcoming collection of short stories. The Zimbabwean author who closely documented the experience of writing this book on Facebook, revealed earlier this year that she began writing the collection in 2014 [read here if you missed it].

Gappah has been hyping the book, calling it the book she was meant to write. Anticipation is running high. Fans can’t wait to read this collection that Gappah says is her “love letter to Zimbabwe.”

A few days ago, she posted the cover of the book on Facebook, and it certainly has Zimbabwe written all over it. The Red, blue, and green palette references the Zimbabwean flag. Gappah reveals on Facebook that the flag was certainly on her mind when she conceived the cover with Faber and Faber’s art director, Donna Payne.

The kombi bus in the image also has a story. Gappah sees the bus not just as a “symbol of urban Zimbabwe” but also as a site of storytelling. “Oh the things I have seen and heard on kombis ! The wit, the humour, the stories !,” she remarks in the text that captioned the photograph.

Gappah is spot on. As many of you who live in African cities know, the Kombi is certainly a space that unites storytelling and urban African life.

Congrats to Gappah! The cover certainly passes our African book cover design test. It’s gorgeous.

Now that the cover is out, we are looking forward to the book release.

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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