Sometimes There Is a Void: Memoirs of an Outsider
Zakes Mda is the most acclaimed South African writer of the independence era. His eight novels tell stories that venture far beyond the conventional narratives of a people’s struggle against apartheid. In this memoir, he tells the story of a life that intersects with the political life of his country but that at its heart is the classic adventure story of an artist, lover, father, teacher, and bon vivant.
Zanemvula Mda was born in 1948 into a family of lawyers and grew up in Soweto’s ambitious educated black class. At age fifteen he crossed the Telle River from South Africa into Basutoland (Lesotho), exiled like his father, a “founding spirit” of the Pan Africanist Congress. Exile was hard, but it was just another chapter in Mda’s coming-of-age. He served as an altar boy (and was preyed on by priests), flirted with shebeen girls, feared the racist Boers, read comic books alongside the literature of the PAC, fell for the music of Dvorák and Coltrane, wrote his first stories—and felt the void at the heart of things that makes him an outsider wherever he goes. The Soweto uprisings called him to politics; playwriting brought him back to South Africa, where he became writer in residence at the famed Market Theatre; three marriages led him hither and yon; acclaim brought him to America, where he began writing the novels that are so thick with the life of his country. In all this, Mda struggled to remain his own man, and with Sometimes There Is a Void he shows that independence opened the way for the stories of individual South Africans in all their variety.
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SOMETIMES THERE IS A VOID: Memoirs of an OutsiderUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
Acclaimed South African novelist, playwright and poet Mda (Cion, 2007, etc.) pens a memoir setting his experiences against the backdrop of a country in turmoil.Both the author's life and his narrative ... Read full review
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Adele Adele’s Afrikaner American apartheid asked Athens Basotho beautiful became Boers brother called Cape Town Catholic Chief Leabua Church Cousin Mlungisi didn’t divorce Dizzy drive Eastern Cape exile father friends gave girls going Gugu guys heard isiXhosa jazz Johannesburg Keneiloe kids knew later laughed lawyer Leabua Jonathan learnt Leballo Lesotho lived looked Mafeteng Market Theatre married Maseru Mohale’s Hoek Mokhehle Monwabisi mother mountain Mpho Nelson Mandela never novel Ntlabathi Ntsu Mokhehle organisation party Peka High School play police political Potlako Leballo Qoboshane remember returned shebeen sister Sonwabo South Africa Soweto Sterkspruit story talk tell Thandi things thought told took township twins Uncle Owen University village walked wanted wife woman women wonderful writing wrote Zenzi Zukile Zwelakhe