The Broken Word
This short but startlingly effective verse narrative is set in the 1950s in the British expatriate community in Kenya at the time of the Mau Mau uprising. Tom has just finishing his schooling in England and before starting university education, he is “blooded” in the brutal response to the insurrection by the self-policing white community, followed by a short stint with the military. The cruel violence he witnesses and participates in against the native population damages Tom, and we see the psychological effect it has on him when he starts his university studies and attempts to join the “civilised” world. The writing is deft and elegant, and the observation and description piercingly meticulous.