Friday 21 February 2014

Reading about South Africa

The call of the wild, visions of lions and gleaming gold. The vibrant beat of drums or throb of peak hour traffic. South Africa is all this and more. If you’re dreaming of visiting South Africa, you might like to read some books that give you an idea of this vast and magnificent country with all its complexities and its beauty. 
With two Nobel Literature Laureates among our many Nobel prize winners, here are a few of my favorite books set in South Africa.  This is by no means a comprehensive list, so what books about South Africa would you add to the list? 
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

The Anglo-Boer War 1899 - 1902 by Fransjohan Pretorius

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Country of my Skull by Antjie Krog

My Traitor's Heart by Riaan Malan
The Story of an African Farm  by Olive Schreiner

Mafeking Road and Other Stories by Herman Charles Bosman
Waiting for the Barbarians by J M Coetzee
When the Lion Feeds by Wilbur Smith

The Heart of Redness by Zakes Mda
The Power of One by Bryce Courtney
My novel DANCING IN THE SHADOWS OF LOVE, my poetry A LAMP AT MIDDAY and my collection of short stories THE WEIGHT OF A FEATHER AND OTHER STORIES also show different aspects of this passionate country of mine, with its tragic history and bright future. 


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Judy .. I've got most of those and need to read the ones I haven't read. Jock of the Bushveld - I'd add to your list ...

and many would add The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency .. to give a feel for Africa.

There's a new Mandela book out and a new one on Helen Suzman, who was an amazing lady ...

I'd mention the Emily Hobhouse book written by her great niece, my mother's cousin, Jennifer Hobhouse Balme - but I see it's not available .. I must find out what's going on ...

Cheers and I'm sure there are others ... City of Gold is another .. better go! I hope others come up with lots of ideas for us .. Hilary

Birdie said...

Well, you know how I feel about the author Judy Croome! ;-)

Here in Canada we have a lot of people living here that are from South Africa, especially doctors! I think SA must have an excellent educational system to put out such intelligent people. The majority of them are very compassionate as well.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

HILARY: "Jock of the Bushveld" OF course - another South African classic, I probably forgot it because I always cry in it! But it is a great story. No 1 Ladies Detective is Botswana based, but a delightful read. And as for Mandela books ... sjoe! ever since the poor man died, we have *shelves* of books all about Mandela. Whoever is pumping them is really making the most of the emotional aftereffects of his death.

BIRDIE: Thanks for your kind words - can you send our doctors back to us? We need 'em here !!! :):) (But I'm glad they're giving SA's name such a boost in Canada!)

Bish Denham said...

Okay, my TBR list just got WAY longer. :)

A Cuban In London said...

I have not read any Coetze yet. I must, I know. I watched a movie the other night based on one of his novels. It had John Malkovich in it. But I didn't like the film a lot. In fact I found it quite forgettable. I'm surprised not to find any Gordimer in your list. I've read two novels by her and a collection of short stories edited by her and find her style enthralling and hypnotic.

Thanks for the list. Now on to! :-)

Greetings from London.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

Ha ha BISH, I know that sinking feeling - when your TBR just can't take another book but you *have* to add a few new ones!! :)

CUBAN - I was going to ad Gordimer's The Conservationist, but my list was getting too long!!

CA Heaven said...

My main experience with South African literature is the books by Andre Brink, and some Wilbur Smith and Doris Leasing, of course.

Btw, I visited South Africa last fall. Not physically, but on my computer. I worked on a petroleum exploration project off the west coast of SA, analyzing some geophysical data. The area we worked on is called Orange Basin, close to the Namibia border >:)

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

COLD: I was about to say WHAT? You visited SA and didn't let me know!! I've still got that bobotie to make you! Amazing technological world that brings scientists from all over the world together via computers! :)