This novel is set in the Free State town of Excelsior from the
1970s to the time of political liberation in the 1990s. In the
1970s Excelsior was notorious for a series of across-the-colour-bar
sex scandals involving white men - many of them pillars of the
conservative Afrikaner establishment - and black women, some of
whom bore mixed-race children as a result. Mda roots his story in
this period and carries it through to the social and political
revolution of the 1990s. Often lyrical and sensual, and sometimes
bleak and shocking, the novel is always an acute and authentic
reflector of small-town South Africa and its extraordinary mix of
people in the years of high apartheid and in its untidy aftermath.
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