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'I was made in Coffee Bay. Right there on the beach, in the sand.'
From the opening lines, we are drawn in and engrossed by this startling memoir of a singular childhood. Suzan is adopted as a newborn in the late 1960s into a seemingly loving and welcoming family living in Pietermaritzburg. But Suzan is set on a collision course with, most particularly, her adoptive mother, and society, from her very beginning. Suzan's relationship with her mother is fraught with drama, which veers over into a level of emotional abuse and needless cruelty that is shocking.
At the age of thirteen, Suzan is sent to a place of safety as a ward of the state, effectively 'orphaning' her. From there, she spirals out of control – fighting to survive in a world of other neglected, abandoned and abused children. She becomes a 'runner', escaping at every opportunity from her various places of confinement, grabbing her schooling in snatches, living on the edges of a drug and prostitution underworld, finding love wherever she can.
Suzan’s young life was the stuff of movies, but it is her writing, in a voice that is unforgettable and true, that transforms her memories into something magical rarely matched in South African literature. A new classic.
Jonathan Jansen is the former Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State, with a formidable reputation for transformation and for a deep commitment to reconciliation in communities living with the heritage of apartheid. In this, Jansen’s most personal and intimate book to date, South Africa’s beloved professor contemplates the stereotypes and stigma so readily applied to Cape Flats mothers as bawdy, lusty and gap-toothed – and offers this endearing antidote as a praise song to mothers everywhere who raise families and build communities in difficult places.
As a young man, Jansen questioned how mothers managed to raise children in trying circumstances – and then realised that the answer was right in front of him in the form of Sarah Jansen, his own mother. Tracing her early life in Montagu and the consequences of apartheid’s forced removals, Jansen unpacks how strong women managed to not only keep families together, but raise them with integrity.
With his trademark delicacy, humour and frankness, Jansen follows his mother’s life story as a young nurse and mother to five children, and shows how mothers dealt with their pasts, organised their homes, made sense of politics, managed affection, communicated core values – how they led their lives. As a balance to his own recollections, Jansen has called on his sister, Naomi, to offer her own insights and memories, adding special value to this touching personal memoir.
Jonathan Jansen is die voormalige Rektor van die Universiteit van die Vrystaat, met 'n formidabele reputasie vir transformasie en 'n diepgewortelde verbintenis tot versoening in gemeenskappe wat met die erfenis van apartheid saamleef. In hierdie boek, Jansen se persoonlikste en mees intieme boek tot op hede, daag Suid-Afrika se geliefde professor die stereotipes en stigma uit wat so maklik op Kaapse Vlakte-ma's van toepassing gemaak word as luidrugtig, wellustig en sonder tande – en bied hy diť deernisvolle verhaal aan as 'n lofsang vir ma's oral wat op moeilike plekke gesinne moet grootmaak en gemeenskappe moet bou.
As jong man het Jansen gewonder hoe ma's dit regkry om kinders onder moeilike omstandighede groot te maak – en toe besef die antwoord is reg voor hom in die vorm van Sarah Jansen, sy eie ma. Deur haar vroeŽ lewe in Montagu en die gevolge van apartheid se gedwonge verskuiwings na te speur, werp Jansen lig op hoe sterk vroue nie slegs daarin geslaag het om gesinne bymekaar te hou nie, maar hulle kinders ook met integriteit groot te maak.
Met sy kenmerkende fynsinnigheid, humor en eerlikheid, volg Jansen sy ma se lewensverhaal as 'n jong verpleegster en ma van vyf kinders, en wys hy hoe diť ma's hulle verlede verwerk het, hulle huise ingerig het, sin gemaak het van die politiek, die liefde bestuur en kernwaardes gekommunikeer het – hoe hulle hulle lewens gelei het. Om sy eie herinneringe te balanseer, het Jansen hom op sy suster, Naomi, beroep om haar eie insigte en herinneringe te deel, en daardeur spesiale waarde tot hierdie roerende memoir toe te voeg.
Across the world, 2 billion people experience menstruation, yet menstruation is seen as a mark of shame. We are told not to discuss it in public, that tampons and sanitary pads should be hidden away, the blood rendered invisible. In many parts of the world, poverty, culture and religion collide causing the taboo around menstruation to have grave consequences. Younger people who menstruate are deterred from going to school, adults from work, infections are left untreated. The shame is universal and the silence a global rule. In It's Only Blood Anna Dahlqvist tells the shocking but always moving stories of why and how people from Sweden to Bangladesh, from the United States to Uganda, are fighting back against the shame.
Can racism and intimacy co-exist? Can love and friendship form and flourish across South Africa’s imposed colour lines?
Who better to engage on the subject of hazardous liaisons than the students with whom Jonathan Jansen served over seven years as Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State. The context is the University campus in Bloemfontein, the City of Roses, the Mississippi of South Africa. Rural, agricultural, insular, religious and conservative, this is not a place for breaking out. But over the years, Jansen observed shifts in campus life and noticed more and more openly interracial friendships and couples, and he began having conversations with these students with burning questions in mind.
Ten interracial couples tell their stories of love and friendship in their own words, with no social theories imposed on their meanings, but instead a focus on how these students experience the world of interracial relationships, and how flawed, outdated laws and customs set limits on human relationships, and the long shadow they cast on learning, living and loving on university campuses to this day.
At eleven o' clock one night in 1997, four hungry, damaged young children arrive on foster carers Trisha and Mike Merry's doorstep. Two social workers dropped them off with nothing but the ragged clothes they were wearing and no information. The children were covered in bruises, two had black eyes, one had a broken arm and they were all scratching themselves. Starved, seriously neglected and abused in every way, four young siblings have been repeatedly overlooked by everyone who should have cared. The eldest scavenges for food by night and is exhausted from trying to protect his sisters, his baby brother and himself from serious parental neglect and the perilous attentions of frequent paedophile visitors. From the start, these four children challenge Trisha and Mike to extremes. Despite all their experience over many years, they wonder if they have met their match. Yet, from that very first night, this couple's unbounded love and care and their unbelievable determination surmount all the obstacles that follow. The shocking truth about the children's home lives is beyond anything Trish and Mike have experienced, yet through their formidable efforts, their unshakeable belief in the children, and their (almost) unfailing sense of humour, they are able to turn around four young lives from tragedy to hope.
A JO WHILEY RADIO 2 BOOK CLUB PICK What would you sacrifice for a new life? 'A firecracker of a novel, at once caustic and tender, page-turning and thought-provoking. Highly recommended' Madeline Miller 'Ramos's debut novel couldn't be more relevant or timely' O: The Oprah Magazine, '25 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2019' `Exploring everything from white privilege to surrogacy, The Farm is set to be one of the biggest books for 2019' Stylist, 'Books you need to add to your 2019 reading list' `An unsettling, unputdownable read' ELLE, 'Ones To Watch: The New Writers We're Excited To Read In 2019' 'Wow, Joanne Ramos has written the page-turner about immigrants chasing what's left of the American dream ... Truly unforgettable' Gary Shteyngart Ambitious businesswoman Mae Yu runs Golden Oaks - a luxury retreat transforming the fertility industry - where women get the very best of everything, so long as they play by the rules. Jane is a young immigrant in search of a better future. Stuck living in a cramped dorm with her baby daughter and her shrewd aunt Ate, she sees an unmissable chance to change her life. But at what cost? A brilliant, darkly funny novel that explores the role of luck and merit, class, ambition and sacrifice, The Farm is an unforgettable story about how we live and who truly holds power.
On 5 February 2014, world-renowned scientist Tim Noakes fired off a tweet allegedly dispensing dietary advice to a young mother into a highly volatile media space; the fallout threatened to destroy his career. This is the untold backstory.
Veteran journalist and writer Daryl Ilbury unveils, layer by layer, a combustible mix of scientific ignorance, academic jealousy, the collapse of media ethics, and the interests of a world-renowned scientist in highlighting the intricacies of human nutrition and exposing those he believes have vested interests in regulating it.
Featuring interviews with people who have worked closely with Noakes, including former Springbok coach Jake White and polar swimmer Lewis Gordon Pugh, as well as award-winning journalists and fellow scientists and academics, some of whom now consider Noakes dangerous and out of control, this book is bound to be as controversial as the man himself.
"A feeling that we could do whatever we liked swept through us in the 60s..." The sexual revolution liberated a generation. But men most of all. We tend to think of the 60s as a decade sprinkled with stardust: a time of space travel and utopian dreams, but above all of sexual abandonment. When the pill was introduced on the NHS in 1961 it seemed, for the first time, that women - like men - could try without buying. "It was paradise for men... all these willing girls..." But this book - by 'one of the great social historians of our time' - describes a turbulent power struggle. Here are the voices from the battleground. Meet dollybird Mavis, debutante Kristina, Beryl who sang with the Beatles, bunny girl Patsy, Christian student Anthea, industrial campaigner Mary and countercultural Caroline. From Carnaby Street to Merseyside, from mods to rockers, from white gloves to Black is Beautiful, their stories throw an unsparing spotlight on morals, four-letter words, faith, drugs, race, bomb culture and sex. This is a moving, shocking book about tearing up the world and starting again. It's about peace, love, psychedelia and strange pleasures, but it is also about misogyny, violation and discrimination - half a century before feminism rebranded. For out of the swamp of gropers and groupies, a movement was emerging, and discovering a new cause: equality. The 1960s: this was where it all began. Women would never be the same again. 'One of the great social historians of our time. No one else makes makes history this fun' Amanda Foreman 'Intimate, immersive, often moving, How Was It For You? subtly but powerfully subverts complacent male assumptions about a legendary decade' David Kynaston 'An absorbing study of an extraordinary age. Beautifully written and intensively researched' Selina Hastings 'Every baby boomer should read this great and wonderfully revelatory book if only to shout, "Ah yes, that's exactly what it was like for me!"' Anne Sebba 'Virginia Nicholson is the outstanding recorder of British lives in the twentieth century... and this account of the 1960s is the most vivid and moving of all her works' Carmen Callil 'Essential reading' Marina Lewycka 'A dazzling kaleidoscope of facts, feelings and observations' Juliet Nicolson 'A hugely ambitious, kaleidoscope of a book' Richard Vinen 'Makes it feel like the Sixties have never been away' Hunter Davies 'I was there, and she's right' Valerie Grove 'Sparklingly readable . . . Having read Nicholson's magisterial and sensuous overview of the decade, I feel I'm floating above the Sixties (a bit like Lucy in the Sky) and looking down on them with a new understanding ' Ysenda Maxtone Graham, The Times 'The stories are terrific' Rosie Boycott, Financial Times 'Sparkling . . . there is a wonderfully diverse range of voices . . . we have a long way to go, but reading this book made me grateful for how far we have come' Daisy Goodwin, The Sunday Times
From one of the most important contemporary thinkers we have, a compelling, forceful tract about women and motherhood that demands immediate attention. Moving commandingly between pop cultural references such as Roald Dahl's 'Matilda' to observations about motherhood in the ancient world, from and thoughts about the stigmatization of single mothers in the UK, Mothers delivers a groundbreaking report into something so prevalent we hardly notice.
In some parts of South Africa, more than one in three people are HIV positive. Love in the Time of AIDS explores transformations in notions of gender and intimacy to try to understand the roots of this virulent epidemic. By living in an informal settlement and collecting love letters, cell phone text messages, oral histories, and archival materials, Mark Hunter details the everyday social inequalities that have resulted in untimely deaths. Hunter shows how first apartheid and then chronic unemployment have become entangled with ideas about femininity, masculinity, love, and sex and have created an economy of exchange that perpetuates the transmission of HIV/AIDS. This sobering ethnography challenges conventional understandings of HIV/AIDS in South Africa.
Nine-year-old Archie and his five-year-old sister, Bobbi, are taken into emergency police protective custody after an incident of domestic violence at their family home. Rosie collects the children from their out-of-hours foster carer on New Year's Day and instantly recognises Archie from a domestic violence workshop she helped with. Rosie remembers that when asked what he enjoyed most about the course, Archie said: `the biscuits'. Social workers are concerned that Archie and Bobbi have been neglected. As Rosie gets to know the children, she begins to suspect that something far more disturbing lies in their past. Archie, jovial and polite, bats away Rosie's attempts to talk to him about anything serious with witty one-liners and sophisticated distractions. Bobbi reacts violently, lashing out and throwing herself around. Rosie has never seen a child as young a Bobbi behaving so viciously, but it is Archie she is most concerned about as the weeks go by. After a worrying incident at school, Archie tearfully discloses the truth - a shocking secret that has left him and his sister traumatised. Horrified at what she learns, Rosie is determined to help the young siblings find a forever-home that will provide them with the love and care they deserve.
As featured on Sunday Brunch and Woman's Hour 'Laura Mucha has found the proof that love actually is all around.' Richard Curtis Poets, philosophers and artists have been trying to explain romantic love for centuries, but it remains one of the most complex and intimidating terrains to navigate. Most people are afraid to be open and honest about their relationships - until now. For Love Factually, Laura Mucha has interviewed hundreds of strangers, from the ages of 8 to 95 in more than 40 countries, asking them to share their most personal stories, feelings and insights about love. These intimate and illuminating conversations raised important questions, such as: - How does your upbringing influence your relationships? - Does love at first sight exist? Should you 'just know'? - What should you look for in a partner? - Is monogamy natural? - Why do people cheat? - How do you know when it's time to walk away? Drawing on psychology, philosophy, anthropology and statistics, Love Factually combines evidence, theory and everyday experience and is the perfect read for anyone who is curious about how we think, feel and behave when it comes to love.
Quiet and polite, obsessively neat, clean and tidy, eight-year-old Tom is unlike any child Maggie has ever fostered before. Tom has been taken into care following concerns that his dad is struggling to cope after the death of Tom's mum. At first, Maggie doesn't know what to make of this shy, nervous little boy who never cries and is terrified of getting dirty. But as Tom's cleaning rituals start to get more extreme, Maggie fears that there's something more sinister going on beneath the surface. When she meets Tom's dad Mark, a stern ex-soldier and strict disciplinarian, it's clear that Tom's life at home without his mummy has been a constant battlefield. Can Maggie help Mark to raise a son and not a soldier? Or is little Tom going to lose his daddy too?
'Essential reading about love, life and care' Kate Mosse 'Nobody has written on dementia as well as Nicci Gerrard in this new book' Andrew Marr 'Dementia is all around us, in our families and in our genes; perhaps in our own futures. If it's not you or me, it's someone we love.' After her own father's death from dementia, the writer and campaigner Nicci Gerrard set out to explore the illness that now touches millions of us, yet which we still struggle to speak about. What does dementia mean, for those who live with it, and those who care for them? This truthful, humane book is an attempt to understand. It is filled with stories, both moving and optimistic: from those living with dementia to those planning the end of life, from the scientists unlocking the mysteries of the brain to the therapists using art and music to enrich the lives of sufferers, from the campaigners battling for greater compassion in care to the families trying to make sense of this 'incomprehensible de-creation of the self'. It explores memory, language, identity, ageing and the notion of what it truly means to care. And it asks, how do we begin to value those who become old, invisible, forgotten? What do we owe them, and each other as humans? What, in the end, really matters?
After the death of the kind and wise Joseph, Jesus follows his calling. He bids farewell to his previous life as a sample carpenter. Jesus goes into the desert and is tempted by Satan. The tempter shows Jesus all the wrongs future generations will do in his name: wars of religion, crusades and witch burning. Jesus refuses to be tempted. Strengthened, he returns to the people. He has himself baptised by his friend John. He collects his first disciples. His miracles and unprecedented teaching attracts many followers. The Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, and advisor Livio, formulate plans to foil the troublemaker. Caiphas, the High Priest, is persuaded to call on the Romans to arrest Jesus and put hiaam on trial. In a terrible farce Jesus is finally sentenced to death by crucifixion. His followers don't understand why Jesus gives himself up to the Romans without resistance. His disciples, from fear of themselves being tried by the Romans, abandon Jesus in his hour of greatest need. Jesus must resist Satan's last, and hardest, temptation and complete his terrible sacrifice. Only when he appears, three days after his death, alive among his disciples do they understand that through his sacrifice Jesus has given mankind not sorrow and death but joy and hope.
In Girl Talk, New York Times science reporter Jacqueline Mroz takes on the science of female friendship--a phenomenon that's as culturally powerful as it is individually mysterious. She examines friendship from a range of angles, from the historical to the experiential, with a scientific analysis that reveals new truths about what leads us to connect and build alliances, and then "break up" when a friendship no longer serves us. Mroz takes a new look at how friendship has evolved throughout history, showing how friends tend to share more genetic commonalities than strangers, and that the more friends we have, the more empathy and pleasure chemicals are present in our brains. Scientists have also reported that friendship directly influences health and longevity; women with solid, supportive friendships experience fewer "fight or flight" impulses and stronger heart function, and women without friendships tend to develop medical challenges on par with those associated with smoking and excessive body weight. With intimate reporting and insightful analysis, Mroz reveals new awareness about the impact of women's friendships, and how they shape our culture at large.
A moving, cross-national account of working mothers (TM) daily lives "and the revolution in public policy and culture needed to improve them The work-family conflict that mothers experience today is a national crisis. Women struggle to balance breadwinning with the bulk of parenting, and stress is constant. Social policies don (TM)t help. Of all Western industrialized countries, the United States ranks dead last for supportive work-family policies: No federal paid parental leave. The highest gender wage gap. No minimum standard for vacation and sick days. The highest maternal and child poverty rates. Can American women look to European policies for solutions? Making Motherhood Work draws on interviews that sociologist Caitlyn Collins conducted over five years with 135 middle-class working mothers in Sweden, Germany, Italy, and the United States. She explores how women navigate work and family given the different policy supports available in each country. Taking readers into women (TM)s homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces, Collins shows that mothers (TM) desires and expectations depend heavily on context. In Sweden "renowned for its gender-equal policies "mothers assume they will receive support from their partners, employers, and the government. In the former East Germany, with its history of mandated employment, mothers don (TM)t feel conflicted about working, but some curtail their work hours and ambitions. Mothers in western Germany and Italy, where maternalist values are strong, are stigmatized for pursuing careers. Meanwhile, American working mothers stand apart for their guilt and worry. Policies alone, Collins discovers, cannot solve women (TM)s struggles. Easing them will require a deeper understanding of cultural beliefs about gender equality, employment, and motherhood. With women held to unrealistic standards in all four countries, the best solutions demand that we redefine motherhood, work, and family. Making Motherhood Work vividly demonstrates that women need not accept their work-family conflict as inevitable.
The true story of 2 year-old Anna, abandoned by her natural parents, left alone in a neglected orphanage. Elaine and Ian had travelled half way round the world to adopt little Anna. She couldn't have been more wanted, loved and cherished. So why was she now in foster care and living with me? It didn't make sense. Until I learned what had happened. ... Dressed only in nappies and ragged T-shirts the children were incarcerated in their cots. Their large eyes stared out blankly from emaciated faces. Some were obviously disabled, others not, but all were badly undernourished. Flies circled around the broken ceiling fans and buzzed against the grids covering the windows. The only toys were a few balls and a handful of building bricks, but no child played with them. The silence was deafening and unnatural. Not one of the thirty or so infants cried, let alone spoke.
Finding Stevie is a dark and poignant true story that highlights the dangers lurking on online. When Stevie's social worker tells Cathy, an experienced foster carer, that Stevie, 14, is gender fluid she isn't sure what that term means and looks it up. Stevie, together with his younger brother and sister, have been brought up by their grandparents as their mother is in prison. But the grandparents can no longer cope with Stevie's behaviour so they place him in care. Stevie is exploring his gender identity, and like many young people he spends time online. Cathy warns him about the dangers of talking to strangers online and advises him how to stay safe. When his younger siblings tell their grandmother that they have a secret they can't tell, Cathy is worried. However, nothing could have prepared her for the truth when Stevie finally breaks down and confesses what he's done.
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