Dan Sandman

#10 Tsotsi by Athol Fugard

In Books, Crime, Fiction on 03/03/2017 at 12:00 pm

10-tsotsiIn the fifties, the black township Sophiatown was destroyed by the authorities to make way for homes for whites. This is the setting for South African dramatist Athol Fugard’s only novel; an affecting piece about a young gangster who has forgotten his name and his past. Written using the stream of consciousness, a style which gives eloquence to the thoughts and actions of the protagonist, Tsotsi can be sporadic and long winded; often a disadvantage when writing sprawling prose. Long before its publication in 1980, and the subsequent Oscar winning film in 2005, Tsotsi was hidden in a suitcase for almost twenty years. Certain passages exist almost as first drafts, drifting in-concisely from scene to scene. Its success as a novel lies in its subject material, which must be seen in terms of South African history and politics, rather than the quality of the prose itself.


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