Country of My Skull

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Jonathan Cape, 1998 - Apartheid - 286 pages
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Ever since Nelson Mandela dramatically walked out of prison in 1990 after twenty-seven years behind bars, South Africa has been undergoing a radical transformation. In one of the most miraculous events of the century, the oppressive system of apartheid was dismantled. But how could this country - one of spectacular beauty and promise - come to terms with its ugly past? How could its people, whom the oppressive white government had pitted against one another, live side by side as friends and neighbors? To begin the healing process, Nelson Mandela created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, headed by the renowned cleric Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Established in 1995, the commission faced the awesome task of hearing the testimony of the victims of apartheid as well as the oppressors. In this book, Antjie Krog, a South African journalist and poet who has covered the work of the commission, recounts the drama, the horrors, the wrenching personal stories of the victims and their families. Through the testimonies of victims of abuse and violence, from the appearance of Winnie Mandela to former South African president P.W. Botha's extraordinary courthouse press conference, this award-winning poet leads us on an amazing journey.

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Country of my skull: guilt, sorrow, and the limits of forgiveness in the new South Africa

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Krog, a poet and the parliamentary editor for South African Broadcasting Corporation radio, has written a remarkable, moving, often painful account of the South African Truth and Reconciliation ... Read full review

Contents

They Never Wept the Men of My Race
1
None More Parted than Us
14
First Hearings
22
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

ANTJIE KROG'S English prose debut was an extraordinary success. Country of My Skull met with much critical acclaim and unprecedented interest locally and in several markets and various translations published abroad. It won the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award, the BookData/South African Booksellers Book of the Year prize, the Hiroshima Foundation Award, the Olive Schreiner Award for the best work of prose published between 1998 and 2000, and received an Honourable Mention in the 1999 Noma Awards for Publishing in Africa. It appears as one of Africa s 100 Best Books of the Twentieth Century in a list compiled and adjudicated by a panel of the continent s leading writers and academics. Down to My Last Skin, a collection of Krog s poetry in English translation, was the inaugural winner of the FNB Vita Poetry Award in 2000. Antjie Krog was born on the farm Middenspruit in the Free State province of South Africa. She is the mother of four children and lives in Cape Town with her architect husband, John Samuel.

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