Norman Silver No Tigers in Africa

ISBN 13: 9780571142972

No Tigers in Africa

 
9780571142972: No Tigers in Africa

Teenager Selwyn Lewis emigrates from South Africa to England but is unable to settle or make friends because of his rigid, white South African attitudes. His parents are too concerned with their own upheaval to notice that his crisis is escalating.

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About the Author:

Norman Silver was born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1946 and moved to England in 1969. His four novels for teenagers - No Tigers in Africa, An Eye for Colour, Python Dance and A Monkey's Wedding - have been translated into seven languages. He is also the author of four collections of poetry, a novel for younger children, The Blue Horse, and two picture books: Cloud Nine, illustrated by Jan Ormerod, and Temper-Temper, illustrated by Julie Park.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 7-10-- Selwyn Lewis, a 15-year-old white South African, has by his own admission killed a black man. Selly's family resettles in cold, unfriendly Britain, and he longs for his friends and his old life. His alienation increases after his grandfather dies and he discovers that his mother is having an affair. After a suicide attempt, the young man begins the slow process of coming to terms with himself and the realities of the present and past. In the end, through a conversation with his only friend, readers learn what really happened on that fateful night in South Africa. Told in the first person, this is a powerful, astonishingly insightful portrayal of racial prejudice. Selwyn doesn't believe himself to be a racist, but it is clear that he is an unconscious prisoner of his social circumstances. His voice comes through with honesty and immediacy, and explanations of vernacular slang are skillfully incorporated in the narrative. He grows throughout the novel, eventually coming to see himself as a victim as well as a victimizer. The other characters are well drawn, particularly Selwyn's father, who is depressed, angry, and unable to express his feelings. This bold first novel will hold readers right from the first chapter. Silver's sympathetically critical portrayal of the contradictions and psychological gymnastics of white South Africa makes worthwhile reading for anyone trying to understand this aspect of South African society. A fine companion to Beverley Naidoo's Chain of Fire (HarperCollins, 1990). --Susan Giffard, Englewood Public Library, NJ
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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