Saturday, April 14, 2007

A passport to Africa

Daliso Chaponda's "Heroic Proportions," another story from the Passport to Crime collection, begins with a dictator dead on a toilet and an investigator whose job is to ferret out the killer from among the ambitious political pretenders who rush forward to claim credit. Does this sound like a joke? That's no surprise; Chaponda, born in Malawi and now, if I am tracking his tangled history correctly, living in the United Kingdom after being forced to leave Canada once his visa ran out, is a stand-up comic.

The story takes advantage of its setting with matter-of-fact observations on the aftermath of looting that followed the dictator's death -- not the sort of thing one finds in most crime fiction.

© Peter Rozovsky 2007

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