The writings of this precocious but short-lived literary talent from Zimbabwe have been described as "the work of a tortured genius." His work reflects a passionate concern for Zimbabwe and Africa in general, and brilliantly combines elements of realism and fantasy. His writing is very introspective, with a keen interest in exploring the inner workings of his protagonists. He does not romanticize the African past nor glorify the African personality. Yet, while his work does not seem preoccupied with inequities in African society, it does display a deep disillusionment and cynicism. An element of resignation reveals, on closer examination, an attempt to hide the sensitivity of his characters, whose behavior can be seen as a defense mechanism against the chaos, senselessness, and brutality of life. Marechera's first published work, "The House of Hunger" (1979), received the 1979 Guardian Prize for Fiction, while his posthumously published collection of writings, "The Black Insider and Other Fragments," was selected for honorable mention by the 1991 Noma Award Committee. In addition to "The House of Hunger," Marechera also published "Black Sunlight" before his untimely death in 1987.