19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
The process of dying and the death of the body politic.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Age of Iron (Paperback)
This novel considers the deterioration of the physical body of the female protagonist as she dies of cancer alongside the demise of the body politic in South Africa in the 1984-86 State of Emergency. Elizabeth Curran returns home after receiving the news of her cancer to find that a vagrant has moved into her garden. The shock of her recent news and the terrible violence that is being enacted all around her in the townships causes her to form a bond with this man. She is unable to tell her daughter of her illness and this novel becomes a letter to the daughter in America which she will receive only when her mother is dead. It becomes clear during the novel that Elizabeth can talk to this vagrant about the things that concern her, and she openly discusses her inability to understand the violence and the bloodshed that she witnesses. Throughout the novel the reader is made aware of the tenuous position of a white liberal woman in South Africa and the question of the right to speak is perpetually one that bothers both the reader and Elizabeth. Ultimately this book reveals the difficulties of being a part of a system that you disagree with and the almost impossible task of trying to speak out against it with language and not violence.