Mating Birds

Lewis Nkosi, Author St. Martin's Press $13.95 (184p) ISBN 978-0-312-52295-7
""In a few days I am to die,'' writes the narrator at the start of this novel about a young, black South African man condemned to death for allegedly raping a white woman. He wonders if he would be in the prison cell if he had never spotted the woman sunbathing on the beach. Instead, he muses, he might have gone on to become ``the first truly great African writer my country has ever produced.'' The author, a black who has been banished from his native South Africa, may not yet be a ``great'' writer, but his words flow smoothly over subject matter that is often painful. As the narrator tells the story of his childhood in a Zulu household, of his first encounter with the white sunbather and of the incident that resulted in the verdict against him, the reader becomes uncomfortably aware of the ugly political and racial ramifications of the situation. Although Nkosi is a talented writer, this work is to be read more for the strength of its message than for the power of its prose. This is a short, but by no means a small, novel. (March 31)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 140 pages - 978-0-7957-0171-9
Paperback - 184 pages - 978-0-06-097085-7
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