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October 26, 2011

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An excuse to read some great (if depressing) fiction: Lessing, Gordimer, Coetzee.... I wish I knew of some uplifting South African fiction. If you find any, please let your readers know!

There is loads of undepressing South African fiction, much of it written after 1994, but not all. After Tears, Room 407 [number may be wrong, I've had some wine, anyway the book is both wrenching and hilarious], Coconut, Fanie Fourie's Lobola are just the first ones to come to mind. For a lit round-up, check out the yearly Sunday Times literary award for fiction and the Alan Paton award for non-fiction. Recently, Jacob Dhlamini's Native Nostalgia is good. For older fiction, Drum Magazine's short stories, Nkosi's Underground People, Dikobe's Marabi Dance are all good places to start for not-super-depressing stuff.

Also, it's a kind of dry text, but Beinart's Twentieth Century South Africa is the best place to start to get up to speed on the history. It's quite a sophisticated narrative, if not very gripping. And the Mail and Guardian is the best newspaper if you want to keep an eye on current events between now and then. If you say what, specifically, you are interested I can try to give more suggestions. Oh, and read both Long Walk to Freedom and No Future Without Forgiveness. Each is partisan in its own way, but both are beautifully written insider accounts.

So cool! Very, very exciting!

Hurray! Coolness!

It's Botswana, but for relaxation, you can read Alexander McCall Smith's #1 Ladies Detective Agency!

Have fun!

Awesome news What Now! A great antidote to 5th year fears!

Thanks for the congrats and the reading suggestions! (And welcome, anon. and Sarabeth.) I spent a happy hour yesterday checking out my first stack of books from my local college library. And the weather is turning wintery just in time to make it cozy to hang out in front of the fire and read my way through them. I did some reading about the Boer War last night and found it a perfect end-of-the-week treat.

Ever since I taught Cry, the Beloved Country last fall, South Africa has been on my travel-to-do list! What a great opportunity, and what lovely karmic full-circling for you too. I went on an overseas trip a few years ago, and while chaperoning overseas is quite a responsibility, it's wonderful to see the experience through the students' eyes as well. Hooray and congratulations!

I'm waaaaay behind in my blog reading, but this is so cool I had to send a belated YAY. So, yay!

Oh, that's so awesome! South Africa has been on my wanderlust list for years now.

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Who is this What Now?

  • I'm an English teacher at Fabulous Girls' School (FGS). I'm a convert to Judaism. I am partner to D. We live in an adorable, messy little house in Adventure City. Two cats -- the Muse and the Contemplative -- live with us and keep life at home plenty adventurous.

    Email me at whatnowblogger at yahoo dot com.

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