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Indigenous societies that are steeped in patriarchy have various channels through which they deal with abusive characteristics of relations in some of these communities. One such route is through songs, which sanction women to voice that which, bound by societal expectations, they would not normally be able to say. This book focuses on the nature of women’s contemporary songs in the rural community of Zwelibomvu, near Pinetown in KwaZulu-Natal. It aims to answer the question ‘Bahlabelelelani – Why do they sing?’, drawing on a variety of discourses of gender and power to examine the content and purposes of the songs.
Restricted by the custom of hlonipha, women resort to allusive language, such as is found in ukushoza, a song genre that includes poetic elements and solo dance songs. Other contexts include women’s social events, such as ilima, which refers to the collective activity that takes place when a group of women come together to assist another woman to complete a task that is typically carried out by women. During umgcagco (traditional weddings) and umemulo (girls’ coming-of-age ceremonies), songs befitting the occasion are performed. And neighbouring communities come together at amacece to perform according to izigodi (districts), where local maskandi women groups may be found performing for a goat or cow stake.
The songs, when read in conjunction with the interviews and focus group discussions, present a complex picture of women’s lives in contemporary rural KwaZulu-Natal, and they offer their own commentary on what it means to be a woman in this society.
In November 2019 het My Only Story, Deon Wiggett se sensasionele weeklikse podsending, SuidAfrika meegevoer in sy jag op die pedofiel wat hom as skoolseun verkrag het. Nou, in ’n Enkele verhaal, vertel hy vir die eerste keer ’n Afrikaanse storie in Afrikaans – en voltooi hy sy ontmaskering van Willem Breytenbach, die eens briljante onderwyser en latere mediabaas wat ’n donker lewe gelei het.
Deon se missie om ’n monster aan die kaak te stel, neem hom van Breytenbach se hoërskooljare by die landbouskool op Kroonstad na die beroemde Grey Kollege in Bloemfontein en die globale reus Naspers. Maar sy kruistog gaan soveel verder. Namate hy sistemiese tekortkominge by beroemde sowel as obskure skole ondersoek, onthul hy ’n kultuur van aandadigheid wat ’n ernstige gevaar vir ál Suid-Afrika se kinders inhou. In die loop van sy ondersoek na mans wat op kinders jag maak, skep Deon ’n model wat enigiemand kan gebruik om pedofiele in hul midde te identifiseer. In sy eie woorde: “Dit is aangenaam om voor te gee dat mans nie kinders verkrag nie, maar as jy eers aanvaar dat dit gebeur, word dit verrassend maklik om die roofdiere uit te ken. Wanneer jy eers ’n universele patroon met ’n spesifieke man se profiel vergelyk, kan jy die bedrog raaksien voor dit te laat is.”
’n Enkele verhaal is ’n boeiende, deurdagte en verrassend ondeunde storie van een man se vasberadenheid om sy kindertrauma te verwerk, ander te help om hul eie demone in die oë te kyk, en om ’n stukkie skoonheid terug te wen uit die jeug wat hy verloor het.
Forgiveness Redefined is Candice Mama’s honest and healing story. It tells how she found ways to deal with the death of her father, Glenack Masilo Mama, and to forgive the notorious apartheid assassin Eugene de Kock, the man responsible for his brutal murder. We follow Candice’s journey of discovering how her father died, how this affected her and how she battled the demons of depression before the age of sixteen. But most importantly, we follow her journey towards beating the odds and rising above her heartbreaks.
Candice Mama is today still under the age of 30, but has been named as one of Vogue Paris’ most inspiring women alongside glittering names such as Michelle Obama. She has taken backstage selfies with music crooner Seal and travels all over the world to talk about her journey. This bubbly, inspiring young author tells how she shed some of the worst layers of grief and became an inspiration for others. We learn about her perplexing, unconventional childhood, her search for identity, and the beautiful bond she formed, posthumously, with a father she never had the opportunity to get to know in person. She also tells, in her own words, about the life-changing encounter between her family and her father’s killer.
Candice tenderly opens up about the result of the trauma of her father’s death on her entire family, and meeting her mother for the first time at the age of four. She tells about the confusing, yet fascinating, dynamics that later unfolded as she discovered pieces of herself, rediscovered relationships with her own family and came to forgiveness and understanding.
This book serves as inspiration for other young – and older – people to look at their own stories through different lenses. Candice’s experiences are not unique, and she offers healing thoughts to others who suffered similar trauma by sharing the details of her own story. Forgiveness Redefined is a touching, personal story by a young woman who learned too early about pain, loss and rejection – but who also learned how to overcome those burdens and live joyfully.
Cadre deployment means that the ANC and the state are inextricably intertwined. In KwaZulu-Natal, which has long been the powder keg of South Africa, it’s a monster that means people of competing patronage networks are killing each other for a place at the trough – for jobs and tenders – and the taxi industry provides the hitmen, guns and the transport.
Travel with journalist Greg Ardé across KwaZulu-Natal into the dark heart of South Africa and the ANC’s ‘culture of blood’.
Heist is an in-depth look at 10 of South Africa’s most audacious heists.
From the 1996 ‘burning man’ case, where four security guards were burnt alive in their armoured vehicle after a ferocious fight-back against highly trained mercenaries, to the 2016 robbery of a cash centre in Witbank, where a gang made off with almost R107 million after impersonating police officers, this is an impeccably researched reconstruction of an endemic crime phenomenon that some analysts warn could bring South Africa to its knees. Using the information gleaned from thousands of pages of court documents and press reports, as well as interviews with scores of police officers, crime-intelligence agents, prosecutors, defence lawyers, researchers, journalists, security guards and the criminals themselves, Heist gives unprecedented insight into a type of crime that increased by a staggering 49 per cent in the first eight months of 2017 alone.
As informative and thought-provoking as it is distressing, this is a book by an investigative journalist at the top of her game.
Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema loved the theatre and dreamed of being an actress. She soon discovered that acting wasn't for her – managing productions was. She meets rising-star, Mbongeni Ngema and they marry. As his success grows, they start a company that births the hit Sarafina! But beneath the stardom, Xoliswa experiences constant abuse. With Fred Khumalo, she tells her powerful story.
Die motiewe agter gesinsmoorde is dikwels vreemder as fiksie. Tergende vrae kan deur psigiaters beantwoord word ... of dalk nie. Deur na verskeie gevalle van gesinsmoord te kyk gooi hierdie boek ’n bietjie lig in 'n baie donker plek. Met onder meer die stories van die Lotters wat gebreinspoel was tot moord op hul ouers en die Van Breda bylmoorde.
A memoir like no other – Claudine Shiels and her sister Lisa van der Merwe have brought South Africa’s oldest sexual abuse case to court. The sisters used the Frankel 8 Criminal Procedures decision to bring court action against their sexually abusive step-uncles forty years later – this is their story.
On a hot summer evening in 1967, eight-year-old Claudine Brown watched from the back seat of a car stalled on a railway track in the suburbs of Cape Town, as a fast-moving train hurtled towards them. Her mother sat frozen with fear in the driver's seat. The events leading up to this moment were unremarkable, giving no clue to their catastrophic timing. The aftermath was brutal and childhood-wrecking, leaving Claudine and her younger sister Lisa world-weary before they had even got started.
When her mother, unraveled by post-traumatic shock, abandoned the family, and her father reached for the nearest comfort to ease his pain – a new wife – Claudine had only one defense against the years of exploitation and physical, emotional and sexual abuse that followed: hope. She remembered what normal life was, and plotted her course back there.
A deeply moving and powerful biography of Fezekile Kuzwayo – better known as Khwezi – the woman the ANC tried to forget.
In August 2016, following the announcement of the results of South Africa’s heated municipal election, four courageous young women interrupted Jacob Zuma’s victory address, bearing placards asking us to ‘Remember Khwezi’. Before being dragged away by security guards, their powerful message had hit home and the public was reminded of the tragic events of 2006, when Zuma was on trial for the rape of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, better known as Khwezi. In the aftermath of the trial, which saw Zuma acquitted, Khwezi was vilified by his many supporters and forced to take refuge outside of South Africa.
Ten years later, just two months after this protest had put Khwezi’s struggle back into the minds and hearts of South Africans, Khwezi passed away … But not before she had slipped back into South Africa and started work with Redi Tlhabi on a book about her life. How as a young girl living in ANC camps in exile she was raped by the very men who were supposed to protect her; how as an adult she was driven once again into exile, suffering not only at the hands of Zuma’s devotees but under the harsh eye of the media.
In sensitive and considered prose, journalist Redi Tlhabi breathes life into a woman for so long forced to live in the shadows. In giving agency back to Khwezi, Tlhabi is able to focus a broader lens on the sexual abuse that abounded during the ‘struggle’ years, abuse which continues to plague women and children in South Africa today.
When South Africa’s golden girl of broadcasting, Tracy Going’s battered face was splashed across the media back in the late 1990s, the nation was shocked. South Africans had become accustomed to seeing Going, glamorous and groomed on television or hearing her resonant voice on Radio Metro and Kaya FM. Sensational headlines of a whirlwind love relationship turned horrendously violent threw the “perfect” life of the household star into disarray.
What had started off as a fairy-tale romance with a man who appeared to be everything that Going was looking for – charming, handsome and successful – had quickly descended into a violent, abusive relationship.
“As I stood before him all I could see were the lies, the disappearing for days without warning, the screaming, the threats, the terror, the hostage-holding, the keeping me up all night, the dragging me through the house by my hair, the choking, the doors locked around me, the phones disconnected, the isolation, the fear and the uncertainty.”
The rosy love cloud burst just five months after meeting her “Prince Charming” when she staggered into the local police station, bruised and battered. A short relationship became a two-and-a-half-year legal ordeal played out in the public eye. In mesmerising detail, Going takes us through the harrowing court process – a system seeped in injustice – her decline into depression, the immediate collapse of her career due to the highly public nature of her assault and the decades-long journey to undo the psychological damages in the search for safety and the reclaiming of self. The roots of violence form the backdrop of the book, tracing Going’s childhood on a plot in Brits, laced with the unpredictable violence of an alcoholic father who regularly terrorised the family with his fists of rage.
“I was ashamed of my father, the drunk. If he wasn’t throwing back the liquid in the lounge then he’d be finding comfort and consort in his cans at the golf club. With that came the uncertainty as I lay in my bed and waited for him to return. I would lie there holding my curtain tight in my small hand. I would pull the fabric down, almost straight, forming a strained sliver and I would peer into the blackness, unblinking. It seemed I was always watching and waiting. Sometimes I searched for satellites between the twinkles of light, but mostly the fear in my tummy distracted me.”
Brilliantly penned, this highly skilled debut memoir, is ultimately uplifting in the realisation that healing is a lengthy and often arduous process and that self-forgiveness and acceptance is essential in order to fully embrace life.
'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.
Pedofilie. Ontvoering. Moord? In Suid-Afrikaners se koppe het hierdie begrippe sinoniem geword met die name van Gert van Rooyen en Joey Haarhoff. In die dertig jaar sedert die tragiese verdwyning van ses jong skoolmeisies en die dramatiese skietdood van die land se berugste paartjie, hang onbeantwoorde vrae steeds in die lug. Die makabere raaisels wat hulle agtergelaat het, het nie saam met hulle gesterf nie.
Joernalis Pieter van Zyl gee in hierdie boek, waarvoor hy eksklusiewe toegang tot Huisgenoot se uitgebreide argief gehad het, ’n volledige oorsig oor dié sage. Die jongste insigte en ervarings van rolspelers wat direk by die saak betrokke is en was, word ook betrek – nie net aan die kant van die slagoffers nie, maar ook aan die kant van die vermeende “monsters”. Kenners, waaronder sielkundiges, kriminoloë, baasspeurders, handskrifontleders en selfs sieners, verskaf ’n sonderlinge blik op die gebeure w at by Suid-Afrikaners bly spook.
Die tragedie verkry ’n nuwe dimensie wanneer dit gekaats word teen die agtergrond van Suid-Afrika drie dekades gelede. Dit blyk ook dat Van Rooyen en Haarhoff nie in isolasie kon optree nie, maar waarskynlik deel was van ’n uitgebreide misdaad-netwerk. Hierdie boek sal niemand koud laat nie.
Here is the Cape Town underworld laid bare, explored through the characters who control the protection industry, the bouncers and security at nightclubs and strip clubs.
At the centre of this turf war is Nafiz Modack, the latest kingpin to have seized control of the industry, a man often in court on various charges, including extortion. Investigative journalist Caryn Dolley has followed Modack and his predecessors for six years as power has shifted in the nightclub security industry, and she focuses on how closely connected the criminal underworld is with the police services. In this suspenseful page turner of an investigation, she writes about the overlapping of the state with the underworld, the underworld with the upperworld, and how the associated violence is not confined to specific areas of Cape Town, but is happening inside hospitals, airports, clubs and restaurants and putting residents at risk.
A book that lays bare the myth that violence and gangsterism in Cape Town is confined to the ganglands of the Cape Flats, wherever you find yourself, you’re only a hair’s breadth away from the enforcers.
In 1993 South Africa state president F.W. de Klerk and African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize ‘for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime’. Yet, while both deserved the plaudits they received for entering the negotiations that led to the end of apartheid, the four years of negotiations preceding the April 1994 elections, known as the transition era, were not ‘peaceful’: they were the bloodiest of the entire apartheid era, with an estimated 14,000 deaths attributed to politically related violence.
This book studies, for the first time, the conflicts between the ANC and the Inkatha Freedom Party that took place in South Africa’s industrial heartland surrounding Johannesburg. Exploring these events through the perceptions and memories of combatants and non-combatants from war-torn areas, along with security force members, politicians and violence monitors, offers new possibilities for understanding South Africa’s turbulent transition.
Challenging the prevailing narrative which attributes the bulk of the violence to a joint state security force and IFP assault against ANC supporters, the author argues for a more expansive approach that incorporates the aggression of ANC militants, the intersection between criminal and political violence, and especially clashes between groups aligned with the ANC.
In 2012 Angy Peter was bringing up her young children with her husband, Isaac Mbadu, in Bardale, Mfuleni, on the Cape Flats.
Angy and Isaac were activists, leading the charge for a commission of inquiry into policing in Khayelitsha. Angy was vocally against vigilante violence and a go-to-person when demanding better services from the police.
But when the commission started its hearings Angy found herself instead on trial for murdering – necklacing – a young neighbourhood troublemaker, Rowan du Preez. The State’s case would centre on the accusation Rowan du Preez allegedly made with his dying breath – that Angy and her husband Isaac set the tyre alight around his neck.
Simone Haysom takes us into the heart of a mystery: was Angy Peter framed by the police for a murder she did not commit? Or was she, as the State argued, ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’, who won a young man’s trust then turned against him, in the most brutal way?
Simone Haysom spent four years meticulously researching this case and the result is a court-room drama interwoven with expert opinion and research into crime and the state of policing in the townships of South Africa.
Lê hy dood iewers in ’n mynskag? Of het hy die hasepad gekies terwyl aanklagte van bedrog en diefstal teen hom opgehoop het? Dié vrae hang in die lug nadat Ralph Haynes, die “mafiabaas” van die Wes-Rand, op 21 Januarie 2011 spoorloos verdwyn het. Nadat hy op daardie dag in ’n helikopter geklim het, is hy nooit weer gesien nie.
Haynes se vriende, wat berugte karakters soos Ferdi Barnard en Corrie Goosen insluit, onthou hom as ’n vrygewige Robin Hood wat armes van groente en geld voorsien het. Sy slagoffers, daarenteen, onthou hom as die meedoënlose skelm wat hulle uit groot bedrae geld en besittings geswendel het. Vandag wonder sy eksvrou wat met haar sal gebeur as Haynes onverwags sy opwagting sou maak.
Joernalis Izak du Plessis stel ondersoek in na die lewe en verdwyning van dié enigmatiese grootkop van die onderwêreld.
In 2016 South African film audiences were mesmerised by the film Noem My Skollie, which was written by - and based on the life of - John W. Fredericks. In this book Fredericks tells the full story on which the film was based.
Growing up in a dusty township on the Cape Flats, Fredericks formed a gang with his friends, and at the age of seventeen he was arrested for robbery and sentenced to two years in Pollsmoor prison. There the number gangs vied to initiate him into their ranks, but he resisted their advances, offering instead to help them push their time by telling stories. And so he became the prison ‘cinema’, drawing on his storytelling abilities and cementing his ambition to become a writer.
Life after prison became a nightmare when he was arrested for a murder he hadn’t committed, his childhood friends were sentenced to die on the gallows, and a gang boss tried to kill him. Slowly he turned his life around, getting a job and building a family, but society kept judging him as a gangster. Struggling to deal with his past, he turned to storytelling again, and painstakingly learnt the art of scriptwriting. The result was Noem My Skollie, which was watched by almost 90 000 people and won numerous awards.
Written in a powerful and authentic voice, Skollie is a gripping memoir of life on the Cape Flats, of prison and gangs, and of one man’s struggle to survive all this by telling stories.
Brutally dragged 780 metres beneath a taxi – a young woman’s inspiring story of survival, courage, and the will to live.
13 September 2011. The story would shock thousands and be remembered by many for years to come. It would be plastered all over the papers and continue to attract interest well after the shock factor of what happened had passed. Reports and articles would be written, and “facts”, as given to reporters by some of those involved and willing to be interviewed, would be recounted and repeated in all forms of public media over the months and even years that followed. And although these versions would generate widespread outrage, none was entirely accurate.
"The stories were about me. I was there. I am Kim McCusker - the girl who was dragged by a taxi. This, as I experienced it, is the true version of events."
That morning, Michelle presented her Psychology honours thesis on men's perceptions of rape. She started her presentation like this, “A woman born in South Africa has a greater chance of being raped than learning how to read …” On that same evening, she goes to a party to celebrate attaining her degree. She and a friend go to the beach; the friend has something she wants to discuss. They are both robbed, assaulted and raped. Within minutes of getting help, Michelle realises she'll never be herself again. She's now "the girl who was raped."
This book is Michelle's fight to be herself again. Of the taint she feels, despite the support and resources at her disposal as the loved child of a successful middle-class family. Of the fall-out to friendships, job, identity.
It's Michelle's brave way of standing up for the women in South Africa who are raped every day.
Once an enemy of the apartheid police, Andrew Brown has worked as a police reservist for almost twenty years. In this book he takes the reader on patrol with him – into the ganglands of the Cape Flats, the townships of Masiphumelele and Nyanga, and the high-walled Southern Suburbs.
Good Cop, Bad Cop is a personal account of the perilous and often conflicting work of a SAPS officer. Brown describes being shot at, arresting suspects in a drug bust, chasing down leads in a homicide investigation and keeping the peace during the UCT student protests. Brown illustrates how difficult the job of the police is, and how easy it is to react with undue force. Yet he argues passionately that the role of the police is to be a service to communities and not a force to suppress social discontent.
Gripping and thought-provoking, this is a fascinating insight into the social fabric of current South Africa.
In November 2019, Deon Wiggett’s sensational weekly podcasts held South Africa in thrall as he hunted down the paedophile who raped him as a schoolboy. Now, in My Only Story, he completes his exposé of Willem Breytenbach, the once brilliant teacher and later media luminary who led a predatory life.
Deon’s mission to expose his abuser takes him from Breytenbach’s high-school years at an agricultural school in South Africa’s hinterland to the famous Grey College in Bloemfontein and the media titan Naspers. But his quest reveals so much more. As he traces systemic failures through schools great and small, he uncovers a culture of complicity that poses a clear and present danger to the country’s children. While investigating men who prey on boys and girls, Deon devises a model that anyone can use to identify paedophiles in their midst. In his own words: ‘It’s pleasant to pretend that men don’t rape children, but once you accept that they do, it becomes surprisingly easy to recognise their trickery. Once you match a universal pattern to a specific man’s profile, you can spot the deceit before it is too late.’
My Only Story is a riveting, thoughtful and often irreverent account of one man’s determination to overcome childhood trauma; to help others face their demons; and to extract some beauty from the boyhood he lost.
From two students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School comes a declaration for our times, and an in-depth look at the making of the #NeverAgain movement that arose after the Parkland, Florida, shooting.
On February 14, 2018, seventeen-year-old David Hogg and his fourteen-year-old sister, Lauren, went to school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, like any normal Wednesday. That day, of course, the world changed. By the next morning, with seventeen classmates and faculty dead, they had joined the leadership of a movement to save their own lives, and the lives of all other young people in America. It's a leadership position they did not seek, and did not want--but events gave them no choice.
The morning after the massacre, David Hogg told CNN: "We're children. You guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together. Get over your politics and get something done."
This book is a manifesto for the movement begun that day, one that has already changed America--with voices of a new generation that are speaking truth to power, and are determined to succeed where their elders have failed. With moral force and clarity, a new generation has made it clear that problems previously deemed unsolvable due to powerful lobbies and political cowardice will be theirs to solve. Born just after Columbine and raised amid seemingly endless war and routine active shooter drills, this generation now says, "Enough!". This book is their statement of purpose, and the story of their lives. It is the essential guide to the #NeverAgain movement.
There are no villains here. Award-winning journalist Paul McNally finds corrupt cops, drug dealers, vigilante residents, addicts, torturers, murderers and cops partnered with drug dealers. But no villains.
Raymond is a shop owner on Ontdekkers Road, in Johannesburg, who takes a baseball bat to the dealers when they break his rules. He systematically records in his notebook the police officers who come – all day, every day – to collect their bribe money from the dealers, and is looking for someone to trust. Khaba is a middle-aged police officer who wants a quiet life but whose demons will not leave him in peace. He is trying to regain his trust in what he once regarded as an honourable profession. Wendy is a petite, ageing police reservist who can handle an R5 rifle with confidence, but not the sadness that accompanies her in her daily life – the loss of her police officer husband, brutally murdered by a drug lord, and the addiction that has her adult son in its grip. She is looking for respect and affirmation and for her own life to have meaning.
Through different paths, the lives of Raymond, Khaba and Wendy intersect on the street as their attention is focused on the current power couple – a drug dealer named Obi and Lerato, a police officer. Seemingly untouchable, Obi and Lerato terrorise Ontdekkers, and in the process upset the balance of this already lawless world.
In the spirit of Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl, and Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist, a powerful collection of essays about gender, sexuality, race, beauty, Hollywood, and what it means to be a modern woman.
One month before the release of the highly anticipated film The Birth of a Nation, actress Gabrielle Union shook the world with a vulnerable and impassioned editorial in which she urged our society to have compassion for victims of sexual violence. In the wake of rape allegations made against director and actor Nate Parker, Union—a forty-four-year-old actress who launched her career with roles in iconic ’90s movies—instantly became the insightful, outspoken actress that Hollywood has been desperately awaiting. With honesty and heartbreaking wisdom, she revealed her own trauma as a victim of sexual assault: "It is for you that I am speaking. This is real. We are real."
In this moving collection of thought provoking essays infused with her unique wisdom and deep humor, Union uses that same fearlessness to tell astonishingly personal and true stories about power, color, gender, feminism, and fame. Union tackles a range of experiences, including bullying, beauty standards, and competition between women in Hollywood, growing up in white California suburbia and then spending summers with her black relatives in Nebraska, coping with crushes, puberty, and the divorce of her parents. Genuine and perceptive, Union bravely lays herself bare, uncovering a complex and courageous life of self-doubt and self-discovery with incredible poise and brutal honesty. Throughout, she compels us to be ethical and empathetic, and reminds us of the importance of confidence, self-awareness, and the power of sharing truth, laughter, and support.
The Last Days of John Lennon is the amazing story of John Lennon's life and career, from his earliest days up to his last seconds. It tells the story of the most profound rock-and-roll genius of all time - and of the consummate Nowhere Man who took him from us.
John Lennon achieved with The Beatles a level of superstardom that defied classification. "We were the best bloody band there was", he said. "There was nobody to touch us". In the summer of 1980, ten years after the break-up of The Beatles, Lennon signed with a new label and hired a top producer to recruit the best session musicians, ready to record new music for the first time in years. They were awestruck when Lennon dashed off '(Just Like) Starting Over'. Lennon was back in peak form, with his best songwriting since 'Imagine'.
Even before Lennon left The Beatles, becoming a solo artist and making a life with Yoko Ono in New York City, Mark David Chapman had become obsessed with murdering his former hero. Chapman was convinced that Lennon had squandered his talent and betrayed fans with messages of hope and peace. In December 1980, Chapman quit his security job in Hawaii, signing out as 'John Lennon', and boarded a flight to New York with a handgun and bullets stowed in his luggage. He was never going home again.
Enriched by exclusive interviews with Lennon's friends and associates, including Paul McCartney, The Last Days of John Lennon is a true-crime drama about two men who changed history. One whose indelible songs enliven our world to this day, and the other who ended the beautiful music with five pulls of a trigger.
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