Ellen Banda-Aaku - Author.

a Novel   

Winner of the Penguin Prize for African Writing

Short-listed for the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize

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Lusaka. 1978. Pumpkin is nine years old. Her fashionable mother is the queen of Tudu Court, but underneath the veneer of respectability that her father’s money provides lies a secret that threatens their whole world – the tall, elegant Totela Ponga is a drunk. And when Pumpkin’s father – the wealthy businessman JS – discovers her mother’s alcoholism it sets in motion a chain of events that come to define the rest of her life.

‘1978 became “that year”. The year I lived at the farm. The year the Rhodesians bombed the camp. The year Ma stopped drinking and got married. The year Tata dumped Mama T and moved in with Gloria. 1978 was also the year I met and lost Sissy.’

Weaving together the stories of three generations of women this novel is a patchwork of love, jealousy and human frailty set against a backdrop of war and political ambition. It is a remarkable journey that takes us deep into the heart of a family both fractured and bound together by their love of one man.