January Sun: One Day, Three Lives, a South African Town
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January Sun: One Day, Three Lives, a South African Town

by Richard Stengel
     
 

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Richard Stengel, now the editor of Time, journeyed to South Africa in the late 1980s to chronicle life under apartheid. He ended up spending months in a small rural town where the white authorities were attempting to forcibly remove a black township. He tells this moving story through the lives of three families—one white, one black, one

Overview

Richard Stengel, now the editor of Time, journeyed to South Africa in the late 1980s to chronicle life under apartheid. He ended up spending months in a small rural town where the white authorities were attempting to forcibly remove a black township. He tells this moving story through the lives of three families—one white, one black, one Indian—over the course of a single day for each of them. The private lives of each family reveal what it was like to live in a society where everyone is judged by the color of his or her skin. Stengel reveals the hopes and dreams of each of these families, and their resilient optimism about the future. In a new introduction, Stengel describes how some of those hopes even came to pass with the eventual release of Nelson Mandela and the election of the country’s first truly democratic government.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Profiles of three South Africans--a white supremacist, a black activist and an Indian shopkeeper belonging to the country's significant Asian minority--provide a cross section of a riven society. ``In his flat, careful recording of what he sees and hears, Stengel presents a powerful picture of South Africa as a prison camp, run by and for the benefit of the whites,'' reported PW. (Jan.)
Library Journal
The idea of portraying individuals' entire existence by tracing their activities through a single day is not original but can be effective if done right, which it is here. Stengel spotlights three South Africans: an Indian merchant, an Afrikaner veterinarian, and a black political activist, all of whom live and work with their families in the same small Transvaal town. Each remains within his own community, keenly aware of the distant proximity of other differing racial groups. Apartheid dominates daily existence, and Stengel shows how the struggle to come to terms with Pretoria's race laws is impossible in this seemingly indestructible, yet vulnerable country. An intriguing perspective that is recommended for African studies collections.-- Ian Wallace, Food Research & Development Centre Lib., St. Hyacinthe, Quebec

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781439195147
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
03/30/2010
Pages:
202
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

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