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Debbie Go Home (1961)

by Alan Paton

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681345,235 (3.29)2

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I picked this up having loved 'Cry, the Beloved Country'. This collection of short stories is right in the mould of Paton's earlier book: a powerful and painful indictment of a country fhighting a racial war with itself. The stories are largely set in a boys reformatory, similar to one in which Paton worked for much of his life. The inmates are black, the staff, and neighbours, largely white. The reformatory's inmates are set on the road to reform, but constantly stumble, as their histories, and their race, weigh them down in a country that isn't interested in them anymore. The stories examine issues such as the inescapability of gang culture, racism, the dangers of misunderstanding religion, and their effects on the young man. Unlike 'Cry, the Beloved Country' this book was written and set in apartheid era South Africa, and Paton examines the issues with an even-handedness and brutal honesty. It is an uncomfortable examination of racial politics in a disatrous period, well written and easy to read. Another great book from paton.
1 vote GlebtheDancer | Mar 8, 2008 |
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