Mating Birds (Perennial fiction library)

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9780060970857: Mating Birds (Perennial fiction library)

The story of a young South African black man obsessed with an English girl whom he encounters on the segregated Durban beachfront is told from the narrator's prison cell in this classic African novel. Although no words are exchanged, a connection develops between the two mismatched lovers, leading to an intense and ambiguous sexual encounter. He is charged with rape and receives the death sentence. Reconstructing his own history, his obsession with the girl, and his court proceedings, the narrator offers a powerful examination of the warped racial morality and brutality of apartheid.

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From the Publisher:

Lewis Nkosi is the author of Home and Exile, The Transplanted Heart, and Underground People. He has written for The New York Review of Books.

From Publishers Weekly:

"In a few days I am to die," writes the narrator at the start of this novel about a young, black South African man condemned to death for allegedly raping a white woman. He wonders if he would be in the prison cell if he had never spotted the woman sunbathing on the beach. Instead, he muses, he might have gone on to become "the first truly great African writer my country has ever produced." The author, a black who has been banished from his native South Africa, may not yet be a "great" writer, but his words flow smoothly over subject matter that is often painful. As the narrator tells the story of his childhood in a Zulu household, of his first encounter with the white sunbather and of the incident that resulted in the verdict against him, the reader becomes uncomfortably aware of the ugly political and racial ramifications of the situation. Although Nkosi is a talented writer, this work is to be read more for the strength of its message than for the power of its prose. This is a short, but by no means a small, novel.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Nkosi, Lewis
Published by Harpercollins (1987)
ISBN 10: 0060970855 ISBN 13: 9780060970857
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