In this article, we critically examine the rise and fall of an adult literacy center that we helped establish for farm workers during the course offieldwork on a commercial farm in Hurungwe District, Zimbabwe. We raise questions about the emerging conventional wisdom in the anthropology of development and postcoloniality more broadly that characterizes development primarily as a mechanism to impose Western agendas and control targeted peoples. Our tale of the "Night School" suggests that anthropologists and social scientists need to pay attention to the power relations of development and the varied hierarchies and arrangements "in the margins" of development that cross-cut wider interventions and relations of rule. [development, discourse, power, Zimbabwe, postcolonialism, gender, race, ethnography]