Mark Mathabane first came to prominence with the publication of "Kaffir Boy, " which became a "New York Times" bestseller. His story of growing up in South Africa was one of the most riveting accounts of life under apartheid. Mathabane's newest book, "Miriam's Song, " is the story of Mark's sister, who was left behind in South Africa. It is the gripping tale of a woman -- representative of an entire generation -- who came of age amid the violence and rebellion of the 1980s and finally saw the destruction of apartheid and the birth of a new, democratic South Africa.
Mathabane writes in Miriam's voice based on stories she told him, but he has re-created her unforgettable experience as only someone who also lived through it could. The immediacy of the hardships that brother and sister endured -- from daily school beatings to overwhelming poverty -- is balanced by the beauty of their childhood observations and the true affection that they have for each other.
Glamour This memoir of growing up in South Africa during apartheid is alternately evocative and wrenching, but always inspiring....[It] captures both the brutality and beauty of their childhood. Ken Otterbourg The Winston-Salem Journal Inspirational and often affecting...there is an important message to this story.