South Africa is known for many things. First, Nelson Mandela, who led apartheid struggles, did not only leave behind a more stable country after independence but also etched into minds of millions, memories of endurance. Today, his books, which give an account of the South African story are some of the most read worldwide. It is also a known fact that Nelson Mandela is among the world’s most famed Nobel Laureates. There are several other South African Novels; this post will explore later on.
Secondly, South Africa is a country that is richly endowed with culture. Zulu tribe, in particular, has continued to preserve its history in the face of a changing world. From dressing, cultural dances to traditional cuisines, there is plenty facts about a country that recently hit the headlines with xenophobic attacks.
Third, it would also interest you to note that South Africa’s landscape provides visitors with a picturesque view of Mother Nature. Popular destinations such as Witwatersrand where gold mining takes place; Cape of Good Hope known for deadly white sharks; Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent his youthful 27 years in Prison; KwaZulu Natal; Johannesburg – a city of many colors; Kruger National Park straddling a whopping 2 million hectares of land and with more than 10, 950 in animal population are a must-visit.
Fiction Novels: Are Authors driving the point home about South Africa?
If you are an ardent reader, there is no doubt you must have read plentiful books about Africa. However, here is the begging of the question – are writers telling the true story about South Africa? Also, would you prefer books written from firsthand experience or fictional novels? The truth is that with thousands of South African books from which to choose, Satire in Huckleberry Finn is only one of the many copies for which you may need a summary.
It is also noteworthy that authors pursue different styles of telling the South African story. If you love humor, there are plenty of novels from which to choose the best. Satire is a style with which the story of Africa’s most talked about the country is told. For starters, it is up to you to judge. For us, this post is all you need to start a memorable fiction reading journey.
The best fiction novels are ever written about South Africa
Now, if you’ve ever wanted to take a nosedive into Zululand through reading, here is a quick run through some of the best fictions.
1. Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
Cry, the Beloved Country isn’t just a novel about South Africa, but also the most popular in the history of writing about the country. It is a story about a Zulu pastor named Stephen Kumalo. His son, Absalom, is also the main protagonist. In the novel, Alan Paton talks about a country set apart by racism, but he proffers hope, love, endurance, and courage. He paints a picture of a black man’s country subjected to the law of imperialists.
2. July’s People by Nadine Gordimer
Nadine Gordimer’s novel encapsulates apartheid struggles in a powerful fictional novel that is a must-read for anyone who wishes to learn more. Gordimer is not only an award-winning South African writer having won the Booker Prize, but has many books to his name. July’s People details apartheid struggles in Johannesburg 1980s, a time when rioting blacks were things of the commonplace.
3. Life and Times of Michael K by J.M Coetzee
In this novel, Michael paints a picture of a world where freedom is unheard of yet determined to save his country from the grip of wanton destruction by civil war. While on his way to bring his mother to town from a far-flung rural area, Michael ends up into captivity, in the hands of merciless army officers. His mother passes on, but Michael’s spirit is relentless as he continues to seek freedom in a story that unravels the struggles of millions.
4. Disgrace by J.M Coetzee
Written in 1999, Coetzee pens a masterpiece fiction novel, a story of a male professor in Cape Town whose insatiable desire for having a romantic relationship with a student sparks off a series of events. Some of the themes tackled in this book are a personal shame, the subjugation of women in a country undergoing a volatile leadership transition, and exploitation. Disgrace is arguably Coetzee’s most popular novel and by which he won South African Novel Prize.
5. Coconut by Kopano Matlwa
In a country dominated by western culture, Kopano Matlwa pens a moving novel detailing struggles of South African youths seeking their identity. The writer presents two girls from different backgrounds pulling in opposite directions. While Coconut was written in 2007 and Matlwa’s first novel, the ways he paints a picture of a country still struggling with social inequality and racism many years after independence earned him the European Union Literary Award. He is one of the youngest gifted writers who also won Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literary in 2010. Coconut is a free book worth reading.
To sum up, you won’t spend a single minute of your time reading these remarkable books. They will boost your outlook and provide your insight into African culture.