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...the power of this passionate and original book comes form its ability to describe universal human horrors which are not distinctively Afrikaner or African: to throw light on the nightmare world in which quite ordinary and boring people are transformed into practitioners of terror and counter-terror, which achieve their own momentum, and torture becomes a normal instrument of war. -- Literary Review
"This is a deeply moving account of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission--South Africa's attempt to come to terms with her often horrendous past. Antjie Krog writes with the sensitivity of a poet and the clarity of a journalist. Country of My Skull is a must-read for all who are fascinated by this unique attempt to deal with a post-conflict context. It is a beautiful and powerful book."
-- Archbishop Desmond Tutu
"Trying to understand the new South Africa without the Truth and Reconciliation Commission would be futile; trying to understand the commission without this book would be irresponsible."
-- André Brink, author of A Dry White Season
Antjie Krog has rendered the world a great service. This elegant manifesto for justice will haunt the soul long after the reading is done."
-- Douglas Brinkley, professor of history and director of the Eisenhower Center at the University of New Orleans
"Here is the extraordinary reportage of one who, eyes staring into the filthiest places of atrocity, poet's searing tongue speaking of them, is not afraid to go too far. Antjie Krog breaks all the rules of dispassionate recounts, the restraints of 'decent' prose, because this is where the truth might be reached and reconciliation with it is posited like a bewildered angel thrust down into hell."
-- Nadine Gordimer, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature
|Before the Commission|
|Ch. 1||They Never Wept, the Men of My Race||3|
|Ch. 2||None More Parted than Us||19|
|Ch. 3||Bereaved and Dumb, the High Southern Air Succumbs||37|
|Ch. 4||The Narrative of Betrayal Has to Be Reinvented Every Time||67|
|Ch. 5||The Sound of the Second Narrative||74|
|Ch. 6||The Wet Bag and Other Phantoms||89|
|Ch. 7||Two Women: Let Us Hear It in Another Language||100|
|Ch. 8||Guilt Is on the Move with All Her Mantles||103|
|Ch. 9||The Political Page Curls over Itself||131|
|Ch. 10||Reconciliation: The Lesser of Two Evils||142|
|Ch. 11||Amnesty: In Transit with the Ghosts||150|
|Ch. 12||The Political Tongue at Anchor||162|
|Ch. 13||Blood Rains in Every Latitude||175|
|Ch. 14||Letters on the Acoustics of Scars||191|
|Ch. 15||It Gets to All of Us - from Tutu to Mamasela||201|
|Ch. 16||Truth Is a Woman||233|
|Ch. 17||Then Burst the Mighty Heart||251|
|Ch. 18||The Shepherd and the Landscape of My Bones||259|
|Ch. 19||A Tragedy of Errors||293|
|Ch. 20||Mother Faces the Nation||318|
|Ch. 21||Beloved Country of Grief and Grace||341|
|Cast of Characters||375|
Posted December 20, 2002
One of the first writers to jump on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's findings, Krog goes beyond reporting and creates a maddening, lyrical work. Although some of the Afrikaans' flair--e.g. the tilte--is lost in English, Krog's sentiments and inner conflict are not misunderstood. Despite the tragedy that surrounds almost every testimony--against blacks; against whites; against innocence--Krog's timbre lightens the blow, yet deals with each one sincerely. Krog goes beyond just the "crimes of Apartheid" and exposes the the new politics of a post-Apartheid South Africa. Krog has done excellent reporting in what is a very delicate and important topic for South Africa and beyond.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 17, 2002
This book is very difficult to read. Not only because of the way it was written, but even more so for the acts of violence it describes. The horror of apartheid is unimaginable. However, for an outsider, I believe Rian Malan's 'My Traitor's Heart' is easier to grasp and at least as impressive.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 4, 2010
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