The Book of the Week is “The Last Resort: A Memoir of Zimbabwe” by Douglas Rogers, published in 2010. The author of this extremely suspenseful ebook describes how his landowner-parents fared in the years after the spring of 2000, when Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe ordered that land owned by light-skinned people be taken over by dark-skinned. The author’s family was light-skinned.
This is a lurid story of how the use of three major instruments of power– lawyers, guns and money– did not necessarily play as important a role in his parents’ fate as their history, the relationships they formed and actions they took.
Rogers was a travel writer who had moved out of the country long before. His parents had stayed to defend their property in Mutare, (about 180 miles from Harare) on which, because it was land unsuitable for farming, in 1992 they had built a resort that originally hosted young backpackers in its chalets.
Read the book to learn about:
a) the irreverent goings-on and clientele at the resort through the years,
b) how his father fared in attempting to deal with the lawless, bureaucratic Zimbabwean government, and
c) whether the author’s parents’ dealings with various people– pro-Mugabe (officials, thugs who perpetrated violence against whites, and those who had the government’s permission to move onto the property of the light-skinned) and anti-Mugabe (activists and fighters)– allowed them to survive.