A fascinating voyage into the culture, people and sport of the new South Africa by the highly acclaimed author of ‘Interior’ and ‘In Every Face I Meet’, short-listed for the 1995 Booker and Whitbread Prizes.
Starting with the run-up to the South African elections of 1994, Justin Cartwright has followed the fortunes of the new South Africa over the last two years. In a book which is part travel, part biography, he looks at the country of his birth from a novelist’s point of view. He is intrigued by the notion of home, particularly for a white South African writer. From the Venda snake dance to discussions with Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer, he pursues the promise of Mandela’s inauguration: ‘one nation, many cultures.’ His quest is by turns comical and moving. He talks to many of the participants in Mandela’s inauguration, like the rock star Ray Phiri and the opera singer Sitwell Hartmann , and follows their fortunes. He also follows the Rugby World Cup of 1995 closely, and tries to decide what it signifies in a country where rugby is an almost mystical pursuit. He has long, occasionally Kafkaesque talks with a former gangster in Soweto, with an African mystic, with the Director General of the SABC, and many others black and white as he looks for confirmation of an emerging and new identity. This is a surprising, original, amusing and touching book, set in a time and a place where history is being made.
Reviews of Not Yet Home: A South African Jour
- ‘I cannot imagine anyone who would not take pleasure in Cartwright’s deceptively easy, elegant writing.’Evening Standard