January Sun: One Day, Three Lives, a South African Town

Richard Stengel, Author Simon & Schuster $19.45 (202p) ISBN 978-0-671-64593-9
Time contributing editor Stengel offers a cross-section of South African society by tracing a typical day in the lives of three people: a white Afrikaner, a black activist and an Indian shopkeeper. Ronald de la Rey, a veterinarian and cattle eugenicist who applies racialist theories to humans, seems the embodiment of a system that rationalizes its evil. Marshall Cornelius, aka ``Life,'' drives a cab and campaigns for reforms in the segregated squatters' camp, or ``township,' where he lives, adjacent to de la Rey's town, some 30 miles west of Pretoria. (In an afterword, we learn that Cornelius was fatally stabbed last May.) In Indian merchant Jaiprakash Bhula, the reader sees how South Africa's significant Asian minority suffers discrimination and economic and political restrictions. In his flat, careful recording of what he sees and hears, Stengel presents a powerful picture of South Africa as a prison camp, run by and for the benefit of the whites. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-4391-9514-7
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-671-73288-2
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