July’s People

July's PeopleJuly’s People by Nadine Gordimer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In July’s People, Nadine Gordimer imagines a violent, chaotic end to South Africa’s apartheid system: all-out war between black and white, with other nations getting involved (like Russia, Cuba, the US), mainly to support their own self-interest. Continue reading


Zoo City music

Although last week I issued an Indigenous Reading Challenge, I confess to not having started it yet, because newly purchased titles for Kinna’s African Reading Challenge are beckoning me from my bookshelf. I started South African Lauren Beukes’ urban fantasy Zoo City on the weekend and am hurtling through it. Continue reading

Monday Music: Nelson Mandela

Given that Nelson Mandela celebrated his 95th birthday last week, and at the time of writing was alive – which no-one expected him to be a couple of weeks ago – I can’t think of a better topic for today’s post than the music inspired by his life and struggles.

I’m sure there have been many songs written for Mandela, but I will keep my list short, and mainly stick to the ones I remember from the 1980s: those that called for his freedom while he was imprisoned on Robben Island.  Continue reading

Illicit desires

A beautiful place to die - Malla Nunn

Crime fiction is not my favourite genre. Just ask my friend Gas Wylde, whose novel based on the Wanda Beach murders I have been struggling to finish – just because I’m afraid it will get too grisly. I confess, I never really graduated from Agatha Christie.

I’m not averse to broadening my literary horizons though, which is why last year I joined a book club that some friends had started. I thought it was time I got out of my literary comfort zone (fantasy & non-fiction, and yes, I know those words sound odd together). We have read & discussed some great books, and the latest was – wait for it – crime fiction: African-Aussie Malla Nunn’s A Beautiful Place to Die , set in South Africa in the fifties, not long after apartheid was made law.

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