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Publisher's Summary

Sindiwe Magona's novel Mother to Mother explores the South African legacy of apartheid through the lens of a woman who remembers a life marked by oppression and injustice. Magona decided to write this novel when she discovered that Fulbright Scholar Amy Biehl, who had been killed while working to organize the nation's first ever democratic elections in 1993, died just a few yards away from her own permanent residence in Guguletu, Capetown. She then learned that one of the boys held responsible for the killing was in fact her neighbor's son. 

Magona began to imagine how easily it might have been her own son caught up in the wave of violence that day. The book is based on this real-life incident, and takes the form of an epistle to Amy Biehl's mother. The murderer's mother, Mandisi, writes about her life, the life of her child, and the colonized society that not only allowed but perpetuated violence against women and impoverished black South Africans under the reign of apartheid. The result is not an apology for the murder but a beautifully written exploration of the society that bred such violence.

©2018 Sindiwe Magona (P)2018 Beacon Press

Critic Reviews

"Unforgettable." (Hazel Rochman, Chicago Tribune)

"Mother to Mother is a stunning novel; Magona has succeeded in her grand ambition to write a story of healing and confrontation. She has written a graceful, terrible story; it is an eloquent indictment of Apartheid and a passionate lament over the loss of Amy Biehl's life." (Angela Salas, The Boston Book Review)

"As a lament for the terrible legacy of apartheid, the novel is surely a tour de force. As a story of individuals attempting to deal with choices made and perhaps regretted, it is a moving work of fiction." (Lee Milazzo, Dallas Morning News)

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