When apartheid ended in 1994, a radiant national optimism suggested a bright future for the new, unified South Africa. But today, even in the midst of a vibrant economy, the cumulative effect of the country's corrosive past-three hundred years of colonialism, the Anglo-Boer War, the displacement, dispossession, and disenfranchisement of millions of people, and the ravages of racism and capitalist exploitation-continues to eat away at what Archbishop Desmond Tutu admiringly called "the Rainbow Nation." Using the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a starting point, acclaimed writer Antjie Krog's essays explore texts from every corner of South Africa in an attempt to remap the borders of her country's communities. In these pages, texts from black women, Afrikaner men, and even comic strips are discussed alongside ideas from African philosophers, an archbishop, and a Nobel Prize winner. Through this extraordinary marriage of academic observation and poetic intervention, Krog endeavors to move South Africa beyond the present moment and toward a new vocabulary of grace and care.
Antjie Krog is a poet, writer, journalist, and professor at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. She has published twelve volumes of poetry and three nonfiction books: Country of My Skull, A Change of Tongue, and Begging to Be Black.