- Paperback: 199 pages
- Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr (T) (December 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195711068
- ISBN-13: 978-0195711066
- Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.1 x 21.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 249 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,645,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Ways of Dying Paperback – Dec 1995
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About the Author
About the Author:
Zakes Mda is Visiting Professor in the School of Dramatic Art at the University of Witwatersrand. He was previously Visiting Professor at the University of Vermont and Full Professor at the University of Lesotho. He held a research fellowship at Yale, was the winner of a Fulbright-Hayes fellowship, and was Amstel Playwright of the Year in 1979. His books include She Plays with Darkness, When People Play People, Four Works, and We Shall Sing for the Fatherland and Other Plays.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Mda's style of narration was also really interesting. Most of the novel is told from a plural second person perspective-- from the perspective of the village and community. The narrators are omnipresent and anonymous, which was a really cool and neat experience different from most Western novels.
Even though the content was somewhat depressing (death obviously plays a large role since Toloki is a professional mourner), the novel was still engaging and not entirely depressing. The characters live in a difficult world, but they are not consumed by the depression and death that surrounds them, which made the novel easier to read for me at least.
'Ways of Dying' is not about post-apartheid South Africa, though the blurb suggests that. I estimate it to be set in the late 1980s, shortly before the end of the old regime was drawing near.
It's a short book, but it's well written, and paints a vivid picture of life in South Africa. And yes, the 'black perspective' is different, and very interesting, and most welcome.
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