- A Land Apart: A South African Reader edited by André Brink and J.M. Coetzee
Faber, 252 pp, £9.95, August 1986, ISBN 0 571 13933 7
- Where Sixpence lives by Norma Kitson
Chatto, 352 pp, £9.95, September 1986, ISBN 0 7011 3085 7
The situation in South Africa is such that, by the time this review appears in print, the two books with which it deals may already belong to the past, both in their different ways witnesses to the haunted tensions, torture and bloodshed of the period of minority rule. The anthology of fiction, A Land Apart, was, say its editors, André Brink and J.M. Coetzee, ‘compiled amid the tumult of the uprisings of 1985’, although the writers they choose to represent had not then had the time to reflect upon that tumult in their work, and almost certainly have not had sufficient time since. Outside South Africa, A Land Apart will be read against the background of silence created by that country’s recently imposed censorship of its internal news. Inside South Africa, who will read it? The editors note that, at the outset, they agreed that ‘we would proceed as if the apparatus of censorship did not exist.’ This is an anthology for export only.