Electric Fences: Stories

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Mawenzi House, 2016 - Fiction - 119 pages
"Electric Fences is a collection of short stories set in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. The stories highlight past and present divisions and atrocities; the dangers and superficialities of the apartheid system; as well as the effects of apartheid on characters who vacillate between conformity and resistance. The tensions in both past and present dispensations are not only between blacks and whites but also between blacks and Indians; men and women; teachers and students; and between working and middle to upper-middle classes. The collection explores the grey areas of apartheid: for instance, what happens when a black girl from the township attends a white private school and the repercussions of this transgression during the apartheid years. The transition to democracy is explored via characters who show both trepidation and excitement at the very thought of collapsing borders. However the stories set in the so-called new South Africa show the failure of the Rainbow Nation. There are more disappointments than successes in a South Africa that resembles the police and policed state of old. While the stories' characters are often overwhelmed by the awesomeness of the state machinery, there is hope evidenced by those who work against the grain to forge more humane societies."--

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About the author (2016)

Gugu Hlongwane was born and raised in South Africa. She went to university in South Africa, the US, and Canada (Guelph and York), where she did her PhD, and she now teaches at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, NS. This is her first work of fiction.

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