Showing posts with label Literature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Literature. Show all posts

Friday, December 3, 2010

Literary goodness!

My husband and I studied literature in high school so we LOVE to read. I prefer novels while he prefers anything to do with business or self development (seriously?????) Anywho, the other day we were reminiscing about all the lovely books we read in school and we decided that we'd read a few together since we have studied different novels.

The first novel we picked was 'Mine Boy' by Peter Abrahams.

It's a novel based in apartheid South Africa about a man called Xuma (pronounced with the click of the tongue) who came to Johannesburg to get a job in the gold mines. He struggles to understand why the people in the city are so sad and why the black people are treated the way they are. It gets harder when he starts dating an educated black girl who wants to live the way the white people do. Xuma's boss- nicknamed the Red one for his red hair- wants to be his friend but Xuma does not understand how a black man and a white man can be friends because he thinks they are too different. The Red one tries to explain that they are the same but just have different skin colour and Xuma does not get it. Eventually Xuma and the Red one have to stand up to the authorities and defend the rights of the black men working in the mines and that's when Xuma's eyes are opened - he realises that he is a man first before he is a black man because the Red one is supporting the black men against his fellow white men. It's a really good story. Xuma really struggles to understand that all men are the same. I like the way it ends though - Xuma has a eureka moment!!!! Yay!

What really amazed me about this book is it's written like it's directly translated from a native language because there are some expressions that do not exist in English or are not proper English but would exist in my native tongue. There is only one bit in the book when the Red one is chatting with his wife that seems to be written in proper English because - I assume - they ares peaking to each other in English. I think someone who does not speak a second language (whether it's French, German or Zulu) would be a bit puzzled by it at first but that's what makes it such a masterpiece. Hubby has not finished reading the book so I'll move on to the next book alone I guess :-(

Next up - Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy!!!! My dad recommended this book and told me I won't want to put it down once I start reading.
 I've not found a copy yet but I hope to soon.
What kind of books do you love to read?

(All images found here.)
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