African Women: Three Generations

Mark Mathabane, Author HarperCollins Publishers $23 (366p) ISBN 978-0-06-016496-6
Mathabane won a wide readership with Kaffir Boy , his account of growing up in apartheid South Africa, and its sequel Kaffir Boy in America. Here he presents a gritty oral history of his grandmother, mother and sister, who overcame relationships with abusive men and struggled to maintain their self-reliance and dignity. His maternal grandmother, Ellen, tells a harrowing tale of being abandoned by her husband for another woman, and of watching her father and brother die, victims of witchcraft. Ellen's daughter, Geli (the author's mother), was sold for the traditional bride-price to a man she abhorred, a compulsive gambler who beat her and drove her into temporary insanity. Florah, Mathabane's sister, took part in looting and mob violence in the 1976 anti-apartheid student rebellion; later, a single mother, she struggled to extricate herself from a relationship with an ex-convict. The alternating first-person narratives are reconstructed from interviews which Mathabane's wife conducted with these three women, leaving a reader with the impression that the jarringly articulate testimonies that appear here have been heavily reworded by the author. Author tour. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/04/1994
Release date: 04/01/1994
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.