28 August 2011

A Mouse amongst Men by Ivor Hartmann

I came here to South Africa to survive, fleeing from the stone-cold house my country Zimbabwe had become. I sit here now and the traffic goes by. I re-read repeatedly this torn and tattered book of near-prophecy a fellow countryman once wrote. It’s the only book I own now and all that’s legible of the cover title is the word, Hunger. Once I had bookshelves stuffed with the promise of good reading until my dying days. Once I had a real job, a car, and house. Once I was good looking and stood tall with a gleam of distant horizons waiting to be plundered in my eyes. Once I thought I was a man, now I know I am a mouse.

This story has been selected for the annual StoryTime anthology African Roar 2012, please go to the African Roar site for more info.

A Mouse amongst Men was written by Ivor W. Hartmann.

Copyright © Ivor W. Hartmann 2011.

A Mouse amongst Men was short-listed for the 2011 Intwasa Yvonne Vera Award, and performance read at Stories On Stage (Sacramento) by Rick Cook, see the videos here: Part One, Part Two.

Ivor W. Hartmann, is a Zimbabwean writer. He is the author of Mr. Goop (Vivlia, 2010), and was nominated for the UMA Award (2009), and awarded The Golden Baobab Prize (2009). His writing has appeared in African Writing Magazine, Wordsetc, Munyori Literary Journal, Something Wicked, and Sentinel Literary Quarterly, amongst others. He is the editor/publisher of StoryTime, and co-editor/publisher African Roar, and on the advisory board of Writers International Network Zimbabwe.


Mbonisi P. Ncube said...

Very nicely written Ivor. I felt the story of the man, 'the mouse', his insignificance in a totally harsh foreign world. Loved it. Reminds me of how tough it is to live in a foreign land, how tough the struggle to be seen as an equal is. Story really took me back. Thanks for writing it!!

Ivor W. Hartmann said...

Thanks Mbonisi. Yeah its a tough one, especially if its an unwilling/forced situation, like it is for over 43.7 million displaced people in the world today.

Abdul Adan said...

A heavy story. Movingly poetic in parts, yet simple and conversational in others. I think overall it was constructed very well. There were enough clues throughout if only in the form questions in the keen reader's mind. The good prospects in his younger years, the nightmares, and then finally Funganayi... The best ending it could possibly have.

Ivor W. Hartmann said...

Thanks Abdul very nice of you to say so. Yes it was heavy, its a very heavy set of themes. Though there were a few lighter/humorous parts to balance it out somewhat, which from Rick's reading I heard worked. I like to create questions for the reader, and to an extent answer them, but also to leave some unanswered and up to the reader.

Anonymous said...

Great story. Can imagine vividly just how "Mouse" must be feeling.
'HOMELESS' 'friendless' 'lonely and lost'. Don't know which of these are the worst, would depend on the mood of the moment. It also brings out a deep-seated anger. Enough said.
"Bag Lady under a Bristol Bridge"

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