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Petina Gappah (born 1971) is a Zimbabwean lawyer and writer.
- A lot of my writing is triggered by something true, either something I read in the papers, something I overheard—I am an inveterate eavesdropper—or something that happened in my very large, and very extended, family. And yet it is precisely those things that no one believes are real.
- On what she typically writes about in “Exclusive interview: Petina Gappah speaks about the highs and lows of her writing career, and reveals details of her next book” in the Johannesburg Review of Books (2017 Sep 4)
- I think I am a better writer for being a lawyer. My mind is pretty chaotic because I am interested in so much, but it has been disciplined through my legal studies. I want to believe I am more measured in my responses to events, and that I am more analytical of my own motivations and self-justification. I am strongly opinionated but I have learned the gift of dispassion…
- On how being a lawyer shaped her writing in “Exclusive interview: Petina Gappah speaks about the highs and lows of her writing career, and reveals details of her next book” in the Johannesburg Review of Books (2017 Sep 4)
- Authentic is one of my least favourite words because in such a diverse country, whose authenticity are you talking about?
- On being considered an authentic Zimbabwean writer in “Petina Gappah interview: ‘I’ve written a very Zimbabwean story – we keep a lot of family secrets’” in The Guardian (2015 Sep 5)
- I think it’s become clear to people what my motivation is. I am not simply anti-government, and I’m not in opposition to any one person; I want to write about all the things that I think are making us into an unkind society…
- On her motivations as a writer in “Petina Gappah: ‘I want to write about what makes us into an unkind society’” in The Guardian (2016 Nov 13)