Voices of South Africa: Growing Up in a Troubled Land

Carolyn Meyer, Author
Carolyn Meyer, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $16.95 (244p) ISBN 978-0-15-200637-2
Reviewed on: 09/01/1986
Release date: 09/01/1986
For five weeks in 1985, Meyer crisscrossed South Africa, interviewing families and students from many groupsEnglish, Afrikaner, Asian, black and racially mixed or ""coloured.'' In one aimto give a feel for South African territory, history and customsshe succeeds; readers will indeed see what lies behind the headlines. In another aim, to inject her own voice and understanding, she also adds interest. Unfortunately, her book is nearly as complex as the situation. By covering such a large geographic area, visiting schools, churches and libraries, and meeting so many people across the class-structure spectrum, she has created abrupt jumps in material. Too many vignettes become dizzying, even annoying. The writing is excellenteach family history is captivating enough to follow furtherbut as a consequence of a five-week whirlwind, each story is dropped before it is fully told. (12-up)
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