Ourselves in Southern Africa: An Anthology of Southern African Writing

Robin Malan, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-312-03194-7
Strong and eloquent voices, observant yet restrained, resound in this interracial collection by writers mostly unknown in the northern hemisphere. Hardly a false note is struck; dignity seldom gives way to despair. ``The Mount of Moriah,'' a short story by Charles Mungoshi, rings a change on the Abraham and Isaac story by forewarning the son of his father's purpose and rewarding his uncomplaining patience. In Richard Rive's marvelously understated radio play, ``Make Like Slaves,'' an Englishwoman, feverishly trying to direct African writers in a drama about their ``roots,'' learns from a black poet that very litle is either exclusively black or merely white. The verses smuggled out to his wife by imprisoned poet Dennis Brutus acknowledge the agony of ``not-knowing . . . / for those outside''; his poems are ``fragments / random pebbles I pick up / from the landscape of my own experience.'' Many of the writers--black, white, ``colored,'' Indian--are recipients of prestigious prizes or Rhodes Scholarships; many are or were university teachers, and many have been political prisoners. (June)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
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