I was recommended this book by my favourite supervisor in Postcolonial Literature who suggested that it might inform my interest in women in conflict. Unsure at first, given its unique narrative structure, I am now convinced it is one of the most accomplished pieces of literature I have ever read. In Leslie Kane’s 1984 typology, silence comes in many forms: the dumb silence of apathy, the unnerving silence of menace, the irrevocable silence of death. But silence, ironically, always says something. In Wicomb’s post-apartheid novel, the narrative voice places a megaphone to the silences and gaps in historical and gendered narratives to uncover the role of women in the repeated struggles for liberation. Though silenced, the bodies of Saartje Baartman, Sarah and Dulcie tell the stories of one of the oldest liberation struggles in history.
Set in early 1990s South Africa.
Recommended by @charchorley.
Buy the book here.