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Dispatcher [Hardcover]

Mark Gevisser
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 18.99
Price: 15.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

6 Feb 2014
As a boy growing up in 1970s Johannesburg Mark Gevisser would play 'Dispatcher', a game that involved sitting in his father's parked car (or in the study) and sending imaginary couriers on routes across the city, mapped out from Holmden's Register of Johannesburg. As the imaginary fleet made its way across the troubled city and its tightly bound geographies, so too did the young dispatcher begin to figure out his own place in the world. At the centre of Dispatcher is the account of a young boy who is obsessed with maps and books, and other boys. Mark Gevisser's account of growing up as the gay son of Jewish immigrants, in a society deeply affected - on a daily basis - by apartheid and its legacy, provides a uniquely layered understanding of place and history. It explores a young man's maturation into a fully engaged and self-aware citizen, first of his city, then of his country and the world beyond. This is a story of memory, identity and an intensely personal relationship with the City of Gold. It is also the story of a violent home invasion and its aftermath, and of a man's determination to reclaim his home town.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Granta (6 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847088589
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847088581
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 327,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Profound... Gevisser's new book is inward looking and intimate. It is also rich with South African history' --Economist

'Apartheid is a phenomenal teacher, and Mark Gevisser has converted its untold lessons about geography and gender into a fascinating memoir about the making of a cosmopolitan' --Diane McWhorter, Pulitzer-prizewinning author of Carry Me Home

'Gevisser brilliantly maps out multiple worlds fractured by race, class, and history, in a story as complex and beautiful as any memoir I've ever read' --Dinaw Mengestu, author of The Beautiful Things that Heaven Brings

'A humane and enlightened observer, Gevisser has pulled off what every memoirist hopes but often fails to achieve, capturing both an extraordinary chapter of history and the essence of a turbulent, shifting society via the examination of his own life' --Spectator

'Gevisser brilliantly maps out multiple worlds fractured by race, class, and history, in a story as complex and beautiful as any memoir I've ever read' --Dinaw Mengestu, author of The Beautiful Things that Heaven Brings

'Dispatcher depicts a profound sense of place' --The Sunday Times

'Poignant... Gevisser writes intelligently and honestly, giving us fascinating insights into aspects of South African life during and after apartheid' --News Letter (Belfast)

About the Author

MARK GEVISSER is one of South Africa's pre-eminent authors and journalists. His last book, A Legacy of Liberation: Thabo Mbeki and the Future of the South African Dream, won the Sunday Times 2008 Alan Paton Prize. His journalism has appeared in publications and journals including Granta, the New York Times, the Guardian, Newsweek, Vogue, the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. He is an Open Society Fellow 2013-2014, and lives between France and South Africa.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars beautifully written and illustrated 10 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover
so much more than just a childhood memoir
its a new way of writing about south africa's past and present
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