Walk in the Night and Other Stories

ISBN-10: 0810101394
ISBN-13: 9780810101395
Edition: N/A
Authors: Alex La Guma
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Description: Of French and Malagasy stock, involved in South African politics from an early age, Alex La Guma was arrested for treason with 155 others in 1956 and finally acquitted in 1960. During the State of Emergency following the Sharpeville massacre he was  More...

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Book details

List price: $16.95
Publisher: Northwestern University Press
Publication date: 1/1/1968
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 129
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.330
Language: English

Of French and Malagasy stock, involved in South African politics from an early age, Alex La Guma was arrested for treason with 155 others in 1956 and finally acquitted in 1960. During the State of Emergency following the Sharpeville massacre he was detained for five months. Continuing to write, he endured house arrest and solitary confinement. La Guma left South Africa as a refugee in 1966 and lived in exile in London and Havana. He died in 1986.A Walk in the Night and Other Stories reveals La Guma as one of the most important African writers of his time. These works reveal the plight of non-whites in apartheid South Africa, laying bare the lives of the poor and the outcasts who filled the ghettoes and shantytowns.

Born in Cape Town, South Africa, La Guma was a short story writer and novelist. After receiving a high school education, he tried his hand at a wide range of odd jobs before becoming a journalist. The son of James La Guma, a one-time president of the South African Coloured People's Congress, he was imprisoned for his antiapartheid struggles and accused in the notorious treason trials involving Nelson Mandela. After another imprisonment, he was forced to migrate to England in 1966. La Guma often focuses on his personal experience as a black man and his deep opposition to the South African regime. A Walk in the Night (1962), which is set in the slums of Cape Town, pictures the losing struggle to retain fundamental humanity in the face of racial oppression. And a Threefold Cord (1964) is also based on life in the ghetto, while The Stone Country (1967) is inspired by La Guma's own imprisonment. La Guma's early political activism is reflected in the novel In the Fog of the Season's End (1972), which is based on organizing opposition to apartheid. In his fictional worlds, La Guma mirrors the realities of nonwhites in South Africa. Crime and brutality erupt as people keenly aware of their powerlessness confront intolerable situations. There is little sentimentality in his work, although it sometimes contains love and even comedic elements. His writing is concrete and vivid, whether depicting a prison, a shantytown, white suburbs, or a Bantu homeland, as in the novel Time of the Butcherbird (1979). Living in exile since 1966, La Guma was appointed Officer of the Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture in 1984. Less than a year later, in 1985, he died in London.

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