Three days after Tsitsi Dangarembga was nominated for the Booker Prize longlist on July 28 with her latest novel, This Mournable Body, she was arrested. Now, she has made it onto the UK’s leading literary award’s shortlist — also three days before her trial following her arrest is set to begin.

Very few people had dared join the anti-government protests called by the opposition to coincide with the second anniversary of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s election victory on July 31. Ahead of the day, the president had described the demonstrations as “an insurrection to overthrow our democratically elected government” and declared them illegal, sending out police forces to crack down on all protest attempts.

Despite Mnangagwa’s threats, the author was among those who took to Harare’s streets that day … She explained that critics are protesting against “the misgovernance in Zimbabwe, the clampdown by authorities against dissent, and of course corruption, a lack of service delivery, a lot of alleged embezzlement of funds that were earmarked for the COVID response.”