South Africa: Resources

 

Jakaranda Time: An Investigator's View of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission 
Zenzile Khoisan (South Africa: Garib Communications, 2001) 
Jakaranda Time is an inside story on South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission with an original view of the political machinations before, during and after the TRC hearings. This intelligent, fast paced book takes us on a journey through the drama of actual investigations, going behind the scenes to show how cases were solved. The author interrogates mass murderers and other perpetrators, fearlessly exploring evil. Containing personal insights into victims and perpetrators, Jakaranda Time exposed complicity and cover-ups to the highest level concerning human rights violations in the apartheid era.
 
No Future Without Forgiveness 
Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Doubleday, 1999) 
A look at the TRC and the need of forgiveness for a people to continue to exist as a nation. A beautiful and sad look at the heartbreak and pain experienced by the people of SA.
 
Unfinished Business - South Africa, Apartheid and Truth 
Terry Bell with Dumisa Ntsebeza (New York: Verso, 2003) 
A look at the failures and successes of the TRC. Dumisa was one of the chief investigators involved with the TRC. Much talks to his own personal experience with his involvement in the anti-apartheid movement. It is ultimately a critical look at the shortcomings of the TRC in dealing with the past, and the political compromises.
 
Frontiers: The Epic of South Africa's Creation and the Tragedy of the Xhosa People 
Noel Mostert (New York: Knopf, 1992) 
The story of the wars between the Xhosa and White's in the 18th and 19th century.
 
A Concise History of South Africa 
Robert Ross (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999) 
 
A History of South Africa 
Frank Welsh (New York: Harpers, 1998) 
A very detailed look at the history of South Africa.
 
The Scramble for Africa 
Thomas Pakenham (New York: Harpers, 1998)
A well written, and meticulously researched book on the rush by the Europeans to colonize Africa around the end of the 19th century.
 
Election '99: South Africa from Mandela to Mbeki 
Andrew Reynolds, ed. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999) 
 
I Write What I Like 
Steve Biko (San Francisco: Harper and Row Publishers, 1986) 
This is the first collection of the writings of the martyred hero of the South African liberation movement. Steve Biko was one of the foremost figures in South Africa's struggle for liberation from the apartheid regime. Murdered by the police when he was only 30, he had already established himself as a leader through his work as a political activist and his writings on Black Consciousness. I Write What I Like was first published in 1978 shortly after his brutal murder in detention.
 
Biko 
Donald Woods (New York: H. Holt, 1987) 
This is the story of white journalist Donald Woods' friendship with Black Consciousness leader, Steve Biko. It captures the story of Steve Biko as a resistance leader and the complications of a friendship across race lines during the Apartheid years. Donald Woods takes the reader through his understanding of Black Consciousness and his family's struggle with the Apartheid government.
 
Long Walk to Freedom; The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela 
Nelson Mandela (Boston: Bay Back Books, 1995)
This is an account of Nelson Mandela's life from his 'country childhood' following his birth on July 18, 1918 to his inauguration as president of South Africa on May 10, 1994. Mandela traces the growth of his understanding of the oppression of black South Africans; his conviction that there was no alternative to armed struggle; his developing belief that all people, black and white, must be free for true freedom; and the effect that his commitment to overthrowing Apartheid had on his family.
 
Slovo: The Unfinished Autobiography 
Joe Slovo (New York: Ocean Press, 1997) 
A revealing and highly entertaining autobiography of one of the key figures of South Africa's African National Congress. As an immigrant, a Jew, a communist, a guerrilla fighter and political strategist - and white - few public figures in South Africa were as demonized by the apartheid government as Joe Slovo.
 
Black Liberation: A Comparative History of Black Ideologies in the United States and South Africa. 
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1995) 
The author "has written a companion piece to his earlier work, White Supremacy. While the latter compared and contrasted elements of white racism in the United States and South Africa, this work is a comparative analysis of black responses to that racism."
 
The Unbreakable Thread: Non-Racialism in South Africa 
Julie Frederikse (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991) 
 
The Atlas of African Affairs 
L.L. Ieuan Griffiths (New York: Rutledge Press, 1995) 
2nd Edition.
 
Faultlines, Journeys Into the New South Africa 
David Goodman (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1999) 
A compelling account of South Africa's effort to reinvent itself after the fall of Apartheid, told through the lives of four pairs of South Africans who have experienced apartheid from opposite sides of the racial and political divide.
 
Human Rights Watch: Women's Rights Project Violence Against Women in South Africa 
(New York: Human Rights Watch Africa, 1995) 
 
Apartheid: A History 
Brian Lapping (George Braziller, Inc. Publisher, 1987) 
 
The Afrikaners: An Historical Interpretation 
G.H.L. LeMay (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 1995) 
 
Rainbow People of God 
Desmond TuTu (New York: Doubleday, 1994) 
Desmond Tutu, the leader of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Archbishop of Cape Town, gives readers the historical highlights of his extraordinary leadership in the anti-apartheid movement.
 
Outcast Cape Town 
John Western (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966) 
Social geographer John Western analyzes the urban spatial planning of the 1950 Group Areas Act that achieved the racial separatism of apartheid. His new prologue for the paperback edition assesses the changes to be expected from the new government and the obstacles to significant change.
 
Vanishing Cultures of South Africa 
Peter Magubane (Rizoli, 1998) 
 
Black Lawyers, White Courts: The Soul of South African Law 
Kenneth S. Broun, Julius Chambers (Ohio: Ohio University Center for International Studies, 1999) 
 
Citizen and Subject 
Mahmood Mamdani (Princeton University Press, 1996) 
 
Making of Modern South Africa: Conquest, Segregation, and Apartheid 
Nigel Worden (Blackwell Publishers, 1995: 2nd edition) 
This book examines the major issues in South Africa's history, from the colonial conquest of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, through the establishment of racism, segregation and Apartheid, to the spirit of reform, resistance and repression of the 1980s and, now, in this new edition, the first democratic elections in April 1994.
 
Crossing The Line: A Year In The Land Of Apartheid 
William Finnegan (University of California Press, 1994) 
This is a deeply personal look at the politics of Apartheid in South Africa by a young white American schoolteacher, who in 1980 landed a job teaching in a high school of "coloured" students on the Cape Flats, outside Cape Town.
 
A Complicated War: The Harrowing of Mozambique 
William Finnegan (University of California Press, 1993) 
This is an account of the brutal civil war in Mozambique, resulting in the death of one million Mozambicans, which was instigated by the South African Apartheid regime.
 
Dateline Soweto: Travels with Black South African Reporters 
William Finnegan (University of California Press, 1995) 
Dateline Soweto follows the working lives of a small group of black South African reporters caught in the crossfire between their communities, the police, and their white editors during the great anti-apartheid uprising of the late 1980s.
 
Zulu Woman: The Life Story of Christina Sibiya 
The Women Writing Africa Series, Rebecca Hourwich Reyher, Liz Gunner, Marcia Wright (Feminist Press, 1999) 

Economic Analyses
 
South Africa Limits to Change: The Political Economy of Transformation (Revised Edition) 
Hein Marais 
 
Disabling Globalization: Places of Power in Post-Apartheid South Africa 
Gillian Hart 

Fiction and Historical Fiction
 
Kaffir Boy 
Mark Mathabane 
"In Kaffir Boy I have re-created, as best as I can remember, all these experiences. I have sought to paint a portrait of my childhood and youth in Alexandra, a black ghetto of Johannesburg, where I was born and lived for eighteen years, with the hope that the rest of the world will finally understand why apartheid cannot be reformed: it has to be abolished."
 
Miriam's Song: A Memoir 
Mark Mathabane 
 
My Traitors Heart: A South African Exile Returns to Face his Country, his Tribe & his Conscience 
Rian Malan 
A deeply compelling story of the experience and horror of South Africa shared by all of its citizens.
 
A Human Being Died that Night: A South African Story of Forgiveness 
Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela 
 
Waiting for the Barbarians 
J.M. Coetzee 
 
Life & Times of Michael K 
J.M. Coetzee 
 
Disgrace 
J.M. Coetzee (winner of the 1999 Booker Prize)
Set in post-apartheid Cape Town and on a remote farm in the Eastern Cape, this is a novel about a man and his personal journeys of love, grace, and disgrace in the new South Africa.
 
When Rain Clouds Gather 
Bessie Head 
The poverty-stricken village of Golema Mmidi, in the heart of rural Botswana, offers a haven to the exiles gathered there. Makhaya, a political refugee from South Africa, becomes involved with an English agricultural expert and the villagers as they struggle to modify their traditional farming methods. This piece explores the pressures of modernization and tradition, somehow finding hope for this community's future.
 
A Walk in the Night and Other Stories 
Alex Laguma 
 
Too Late the Phalarope 
Alan Paton 
 
Letters to Martha and Other Stories 
Dennis Brutus 
 
Black South African Women Writers in Exile 
Lindiwe Mabiza 
 
Will to Die 
Can Themba 
 
Country of my Skull: Guilt, Sorrow, and the Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa 
Antjie Krog, Random House, 1999 
Established in 1995 and headed by the renowned cleric Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission faced the awesome task of hearing the testimony of the victims and perpetrators of apartheid. 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.
 
The Mind of South Africa 
Allister Sparks 
Out of print, but available in used bookstores and libraries.
 
Kikuyu 
Etienne van Heerden 
This is the story of a boy's life on an Afrikaner farm in the Karoo desert. As a fictional representation, it offers fascinating insight into the struggle of an Afrikaner boy as he grows up during the Apartheid years.
 
Forced to Grow; Living, Loving and Lying Awake at Night; Mother to Mother 
Sindiwe Magona 
 
The World of Can Themba:Selected Writings 
Essop Patel
 
She Plays With the Darkness 
Zakes Mda 
 
Entertaining Angels 
Marita Van Der Vyver with Catherine Knox (translator) 
A telling story of women and white women in the New South Africa.
 
Renewal Time 
Ezekiel Mphahlele 
 
The House Gun 
Nadine Gordimer
The story of a privileged white couple as they come to terms with the prospect of their son as a murderer.
 
The Smell of Apples 
Mark Behr 
Set in the twilight of apartheid in South Africa, this haunting novel is narrated by a child who records the political turmoil and social injustice that threaten to destroy his life and community.
 
This Day and Age 
Mark Nicol
 
To Every Birth Its Blood 
Mongane Serote 
"The narrator and protagonist of the first half of the novel, Tsietsi Molope, is a black journalist who is picked up at random by the police, beaten, and emotionally emasculated... The second half turns to a network of characters in Molope's life all related in some way to a resistance effort known as 'the Movement.' Their involvement leads some to accommodation or marginality, others to exile, and still others to torture and death."
 
Mind Your Colour 
V.A. February 
 
Advance, Retreat: Selected Short Stories 
Richard Rive 
This is a collection of twelve stories by the South African writer, who is a member of the so-called Cape Coloured community. Rive captures the ironies inherent in the Coloured predicament. In the title story, the quibbling of a group of high-school teachers about who will have what role in Macbeth becomes a metaphor for the inability of South African intellectuals to keep their attention fixed upon the realities of their social and political situation.
 
Waiting For Leila 
Achmat Dangor 
 
King Leopolds Ghost: A story of greed, terror, & heroism in colonial Africa 
Adam Hochschild (Feminist Press, 1999) 
A book that chills you to the bone, it is about the Congo under the brutal control of the Belgium's'. It speaks to the horrors of colonialism and the decimation that followed in its wake.