Sometimes There Is a Void: Memoirs of an Outsider

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Macmillan, Jan 3, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 576 pages
6 Reviews

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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Review: Sometimes there is a Void – Memoirs of an Outsider

User Review  - Diane Brown - Goodreads

I love to read memoirs and this one intrigued me and did not disappoint me at all. It sure does explain the man behind the writing. He writes about his life, links this to political situation at the ... Read full review

Review: Sometimes there is a Void – Memoirs of an Outsider

User Review  - Bongani Mdaki - Goodreads

This is the best memoir I have read. Bra Zakes is simply a brilliant story teller. Read full review

Contents

Title Page
CHAPTER
CHAPTER THREE
CHAPTER FOUR
CHAPTER FIVE
CHAPTER
CHAPTER SEVEN
CHAPTER EIGHT
CHAPTER
CHAPTER ELEVEN
CHAPTER TWELVE
CHAPTER THIRTEEN
CHAPTER FOURTEEN
CHAPTER FIFTEEN
CHAPTER SIXTEEN
ALSO BY ZAKES

CHAPTER NINE

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About the author (2012)

Zakes Mda is a professor of creative writing at Ohio University. He has been a visiting professor at both Yale and the University of Vermont. Among his novels, The Heart of Redness (FSG, 2002) won the Richard Wright Zora Neale Hurston Legacy Award. He lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Athens, Ohio.

Bibliographic information