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Helene Passtoors (Belgium)
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Les Libinza de la Ngiri: Lanthropologie dun peuple des marais du confluent Congo-Ubangi
Les Libinza de la Ngiri: Lanthropologie dun peuple des marais du confluent Congo-Ubangi
by Pierre van Leynseele
Edition: Unknown Binding

5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent anthropological study of the Libinza people of the confluent ..., 8 Oct. 2014
This is an excellent anthropological study of the Libinza people of the confluent of the Congo and Ubangui rivers in RD Congo which needs to be made available to present day anthropologists. The study is based on field work in the years 1960/1970. Like other peoples of the group of 'Water People' of the middle Congo, the Libinza are traders and fishermen, an open, dynamic society from precolonial times on when they already controlled trade on the Congo river and Congo basin which totals some 13.000km navigable waterways.
This study takes a diachronic view of the structural principals and changes of the society and emphasizes the economic and ecological aspects. It shakes anthropological canons of the day such as of African societies being 'closed' and impervious to change (until colonisation...), a purely synchronic view of African societies which the author shows makes no sense, and the supposed dominance of the social over the economic in 'traditional' societies.
The study contains a wealth of valuable, precise data collected with the Libinza but valid for the whole group of Water People or Bangala. It should provide precious background materiel (going back to the 19th century) for the present situation and endeavours of these traders and fishermen after the upheavals during the last decennia.including a 10 year long interruption of river transport.


Belkin Verve Tab Folio Cover for Kindle, Black (only fits Kindle)
Belkin Verve Tab Folio Cover for Kindle, Black (only fits Kindle)

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent cover but..., 26 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Excellent for the Kindle. Protective padding, good looks, closes well (magnet) so the screen can't get damaged in your bag, yet all buttons are easily accessible. For easy reading one can fold back the cover completely and fix the tab magnetically, so it isn't in the way of turning pages.The on/off button and usb slot for loading or connection to the computer stay accessible when the cover is closed.
Price/quality is good compared to the exaggerated pricing of other covers and that is where the 'but' comes in. One would like more choice and a much wider price range for Kindle covers. I just wanted protection for my Kindle, never mind fancy looks. So it took me long to decide.I got the uncomfortable impression that Kindle/Amazon are trying to make big profits on accessories while what counts for me is the basics: the Kindle itself and the e-books. That is why I took off one rating star.


The Unlikely Secret Agent
The Unlikely Secret Agent
by Ronnie Kasrils
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.95

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unassuming woman who did great things, 29 Feb. 2012
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I happen to have known Eleanor Kasrils, an amazing woman and warm friend. This book is her husband Ronnie's loving hommage to the courage of his life-long companion through hard times of struggle, exile, forced separation and insecurity. The book reads like a John Le Carré novel and gives a very lively description of the South African liberation struggle in the early years of the underground after the banning of the African National Congress in 1960. It also reminds the role of women of all colours throughout the struggle, especially those who shunned the stage lights. Eleanore herself told the story with lots of laughs, typically downplaying her suffering, ingenuity, tremendous courage, and more in general the important role she played. Fascinating to get the real story now. Indeed, she looked like an "unlikely secret agent" as the title says, but of course those are the best! A very good read for anyone interested in an unassuming woman who did great things.


Clarks Un Poem Black Leather 203197894060, Women's Pumps  - Black, 39.5 EU
Clarks Un Poem Black Leather 203197894060, Women's Pumps - Black, 39.5 EU

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 29 Feb. 2012
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Excellent shoe, very comfortable, walk like high quality sport shoes. Good fit even with socks, elegant to wear even with formal dress. Can't think of any critical note.


Krups Twin Blade Coffee Mill
Krups Twin Blade Coffee Mill
Offered by Bright Sparks Store
Price: £20.00

5.0 out of 5 stars right grind, lovely flavour, 29 Feb. 2012
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Good little coffee grinder (and to grind other things), the shape is very handy for my different sizes plunger pots and one learns quickly how much to grind it, just a bit coarse(preground coffee tends to be too finely ground). My son uses it for his expresso machine. And of course the coffee has so much more flavour for a lovely start in the morning! Good buy.


Summertime
Summertime
by J M Coetzee
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A self's play of mirrors, 29 Sept. 2009
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This review is from: Summertime (Hardcover)
Impossible for John Coetzee not to create something new, something amazing, something you'll read over and over again to find new delight. This is the third volume of Coetzee's 'autobiographical' writings and shows the writer as a relatively young adult returned to Cape Town after years in the UK and USA, to stay with his elderly father and begin his career as a writer and try to find a job. It is the time he wrote and published his first novel 'Dusk Lands' (1974). But again, it is an unusual form of autobiography to say the least. Not only is Coetzee very harsh on himself, as he was in 'Boyhood' (1997) and 'Youth' (2002), both written in the 3d person. But now the 3d person writing has acquired a new dimension: 'Summer Time' consists of 'interviews' of five people close to Coetzee at the time, four women (a married lover, a favourite cousin, an outrageous Brazilian he fell desperately in love with, a French colleague lecturer at the University of Cape Town) and one man of few words, a colleague and long time friend. The 'interviews' are conducted by a fictional biographer after the (fictional)'famous writer's death' and based on the latter's notebooks which surface from time to time. Five different views on a lonely, socially more than awkward Coetzee in his twenties in a context of the weird white society under apartheid in which Coetzee with his mixed Afrikaner and English ancestry can find no foothold. Nor does he want to. He will stay a lonely, socially awkward, stubborn man his whole life and here one can see why. But apart from his usual writing genius, this book is particularly fascinating - one could say 'spicy' - because it is Coetzee himself who imagines and writes the different views and insights, expressed in different styles by very different people/characters. Thereby he gives a multilayered yet distant view of himself as if examining his image in a number of distorting mirrors much like children love to do, sometimes bursting out laughing, sometimes pensive, wondering if this is 'me'.
Autobiography usually expresses the writer's view of the self. Coetzee obviously doesn't feel too keen on that (although fortunately he judges the times and contexts he has lived and what they did to him important and special enough to share). But in this book he goes further. 'Summer Time' becomes a reflection on how we are each defined by the outside views of others on us. Views based on their own personalities and circumstances and often irritatingly superficial or self projecting. Where is the self? Is there something like the self after all? One would think that a creative loner like Coetzee would believe in a self borne self. But does he? While reading, one sometimes feels yes, he must feel misunderstood. And then again: no... The kind of dialectics that make for excellence in literature.
'Summer Time' is shortlisted for the Booker prize which Coetzee was the first writer to win twice (1983, 1999). If he wins again this year, he will be the first to win the prestigious prize three times.


Fools and Other Stories
Fools and Other Stories
by Njabulo Ndebele
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars First fiction by outstanding South African writer, 29 Sept. 2009
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These short stories are the first fiction published by the outstanding South African writer, essayist and academic Njabulo Ndebele. I had read them already in the early 1980s but felt I needed to read them again and see if they had stayed fresh despite the changes in South Africa. Well, Ndebele passes the test with flying colours. Unlike much South African writing under apartheid that was too much protest literature or too superficial to be universal, 'Fools and Other Stories' withstands the test of time and remains a great read.
A quote: "'You see, too much obsession with removing repression in the political dimension, soon becomes in itself a form of oppression. Especially if everybody is expected to demonstrate his concern somehow. And then mostly all it calls for is that your thrust an angry fist in the air. Somewhere along the line, I feel, the varied richness of life is lost sight of and so is the fact that every aspect of life, if it can be creatively indulged in, is the weapon of life itself against the greatest tyranny.' 'Now I think I know why you want to be God', said Nosipho."
Or Ndebele's language: "Everything is in silhouette. Everything to the west of me. Houses, trees, people, cars, horse-drawn carts, hats. It is the time of forms. For the sun finally set about an hour ago. And it is the time of forms. No wonder that this time of day has eternally been the time of stories; for it is the time of abstractions. It is the time when the mind is at rest..."
Ndebele always fascinates and delights. One can only regret that this active and influential academic does not publish more fiction!


Lorus Ladies Gold Brass Watch - RRS44QX9
Lorus Ladies Gold Brass Watch - RRS44QX9
Offered by GMT Classics
Price: £30.00

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars nice watch, 29 Sept. 2009
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Nice and elegant watch for an amazingly low price. Only the bracelet was far too wide, so I had to get it shortened by 2 links by a local jeweller who had quite a few problems with it. The links were unusually difficult to take out, he said, because the watch is gold plated as a whole, not in its constituent parts. So one shouldn't try to shorten the bracelet oneself or ask a non-specialist! Also shouldn't be too tight. But I am very happy with it and wear it day and night. After 2 weeks hour is still correct to the minute.


CRY OF WINNIE MANDELA, THE
CRY OF WINNIE MANDELA, THE
by Njabulo Ndebele
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Penelope, 27 Aug. 2009
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Njabulo Ndebele is a South African writer, one of the best. One only regrets that he hasn't written a lot more fiction alongside his sharp essays that treat of everything from the role of literature under apartheid till various aspects of present day South Africa which are always eye openers and beautifully written with rare sensitive insight. Ndebele is Rector of the University of Cape Town which explains perhaps why we'll have to wait for his fascinating projects of fiction that he sometimes mentions, such as exploring the violence in the townships.
But The Cry of Winnie Mandela luckily did make it to the publisher. It is a most intriguing novel about a widespread phenomenon in South African society - under apartheid in particular, but also still now - : that of the waiting, lonely wife, the Penelope. Whether their men went to work in a faraway town or on the mines, or disappeared into exile without a word, or just left them without explanation, or went to study abroad to be the first doctor in the township, or disappeared in prison, the women are unable to cut the link and wait asking themselves eternal questions, each in their own way. They long for their man and loathe him. They long for sex and are not able to give themselves. They raise their children dutifully and sometimes even support their man instead of the contrary. Yet when and if the man finally comes home, it is a disaster and they realise they have lost many precious years of their life. The Penelopes of Ndebele have much in common despite their different circumstances and join in a talk group to share their pains and experiences. They start a game: talking or writing to Winnie Mandela, once their idol now under the shades of doubt. They ask her, each from their own standpoint, all the questions we all would like to ask Winnie. They love her and want to understand, they want to loathe her and are unable to. They've lived the same 'insanity'. Then Winnie's alterego takes her on a ride showing her the places she has been to and asking her own questions. Winnie who reacted to her loneliness and to the torture the apartheid made her undergo with anger, with rage. She ended up making a 'monument to the power of anger and the anger of power' in the name of the struggle for liberation. And yet, it is impossible to condemn her because she is also a deeply loving woman and heroic. In the end, Winnie joins the group herself.
Ndebele is the only writer who has tried to go deep into the personality of Winnie Mandela and what happened to her, in her and through her. He does so without gloves nor romanticism, but in beautiful language.As he also explores his other Penelopes. Here fiction means grasping a very raw reality and seeing how struggling women deal with it and survive. It is never cruel and never blunt. A jewel of a little book, to read over and over again.


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