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THE ONES WE LOVED de Tarisai Ngangura

An aching love story and literary debut for readers of Britt Bennett,  NoViolet Bulawayo and Yaa Ghasi.

by Tarisai Ngangura
HarperCollins Canada, Winter 2025

On a bus moving across a rural landscape, town to dusty town, two young people are escaping with their lives. She has committed a crime for which there will be retribution. He is staggering from a sudden loss.

These two will find each other and attempt a new way forward. But the talons of the past have dug deep and the wounds have not yet healed. Moving back and forth in time, from the fragile bonds of this new relationship to the lives they lived before, THE ONES WE LOVED tenderly weaves both myth and memory. It’s a story about generational living written in the rhythms of oral retellings practiced by Zimbabwe’s Shona ethnic group, where the soundscape of a ngano (story)— its melodies, pauses, lifts and stops—are a call and response with the listener.

The novel also pulls from literary stewards of Black Americana such as Toni Morrison and Zora Neale Hurston, shaping characters whose way of loving is inherited and channeled into the lands they inhabit, the people they care for and the present they cling to.

Tarisai Ngangura’s photography, essays and interviews have appeared in The New York Times, Style Magazine, Rolling Stone, Teen Vogue, New York magazine, The Globe and Mail, VICE, Pitchfork, Literary Hub, Jezebel, The New Republic and Lapham’s Quarterly. She was formerly a writer and social manager at Vanity Fair and a Senior Content Strategist at The Atlantic. She currently freelances and reviews music at Pitchfork and NPR.