This week’s meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish states: Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Read X. In my case, South African Authors. I consider myself to be a global citizen, but at the same time I remain a patriot and ever-proud of my country. We have excellent authors, have a look!
1. Shades by Marguerite Poland is an excellent historical novel (with a dose of rebellion and romance) set in my home province. It is excellently crafted.
2. Breathing Space by Marita van der Vyver – an intense novel set in 1985 where a versatile group of young adults meet for a weekend away. The novel (originally written in Afrikaans) explores the social constraints on young adults in the violent era shortly before the fall of Apartheid.
3. Life and Soul by Karina Turok is a photographic coffee-table book interviewing women who have shaped South Africa with candour and brilliance – from the controversial rocker Karen Zoid to the late Mama Sisulu.
4. Three Letter Plague by Jonny Steinberg was reviewed by me a while ago. It is a difficult read, but a must for anyone wishing to grasp the intricacies of politics, poverty, public healthcare and HIV in South Africa (and other similar countries).
5. Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyer – Meyer is probably South Africa’s best writer of thrillers. He writes well and with insight, but don’t let the content scare you from visiting South Africa. All that is required to survive here is a little common sense.
6. Yes, I am! Writing by South African Gay Men edited by Robin Malan and Ashraf Johaardien – touching and often hilarious tales about being gay in South Africa, both before and after 1994. One of my personal favourites.
7. Fools, Bells and the Habit of Eating: Three Satires by Zakes Mda – another legendary writer that should not be missed.
8. A Change of Tongue by Antjie Krog discusses the themes of identity, belonging and personal discovery as an Afrikaans white female more then ten years after democracy. Beautiful imagery and of value to all groups of people.
9. The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay – set during World War II, a young boy seeks answers from two very different role models. A true discovery of self.
10. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela – because this is Mandela, and no matter who or where you are, he has inevitably had some impact on your life whether you know it or not. As books go it is a bit long and dry, but as a memoir it is worthwhile.