Review of ‘Desperate’ by Virginia Phiri

Charles Ray's Ramblings

Virginia Phiri is a noted Zimbabwean author who is little known on this side of the Atlantic. She writes often about the problems faced by marginalized people in her native Zimbabwe. In Desperate, she takes on the issue of prostitution, and how and why women end up selling their bodies to strangers.

In a series of fictional narratives, Phiri paints evocative, and dark pictures of women such as Chido and Nhamo, who share one condition – desperation – that drives them to the fateful decision.

Phiri tells us in her preface to the book that while operating as a freedom fighter during Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence, her life was saved by a group of prostitutes who she never had the chance to thank. Desperate is her tribute to them and a plea to the world to think about how it treats women and how this treatment can push them…

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