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Add a twist of humour to South African nostalgia with Hagen Engler's latest offering. Black Twitter, Blitz And A Boerie As Long As Your Leg is a light-hearted, humorous read of multiple entries that can be dipped into at will. Optimistic, topical and definitely tongue-in-cheek, this book could easily be that last-minute gift that you pick up at the airport before you head back to the parental home for the holidays. Not too politically edgy - so as not to offend any sensitive elephants in the room – it draws on the great many things that South Africans do have in common, and that will give us all a moment to agree on something, for a change.
Black Twitter, Blitz And A Boerie As Long As Your Leg lists and celebrates the tiny, subtle aspects of South African life that we all experience but don’t always notice. Engler looks at icons of our shared South Africanness but drills a little deeper to make them more specific, a bit more ridiculous, a bit funnier, and hopefully to induce an excited exclamation from the reader of, “Yoh! That’s so true!” Even if the entry is ostensibly negative, Engler will find a poignant aspect of it that is lovable and help us laugh at ourselves.
How to be white when you’re no longer the centre of attention? When you no longer even matter? How to be white when everyone’s patience runs out? Disco Dave is a South African hipster on the Port Elizabeth social scene, such as it is. His dreams of media moguldom evaporate before his eyes as the scene becomes blacker and his understanding of it more tenuous. Hard-up for bucks, he moves into the domestic worker’s quarters on his property and rents out the main house. Sizwe arrives and swiftly sets about taking over Disco’s life. He impregnates his ex-girlfriend Jazz, founds a rival media company and slides into a job Disco had his eye on. The blacks are taking over! Disco finds a black girlfriend, but even that doesn’t stop it. Desperate for relevance, he has to get famous somehow. But who even needs white celebs any more? While his fellow non-blacks embrace wilful ignorance, hippy oblivion and gangsterism, Disco knows just enough to know he doesn’t know enough. As South Africa finally becomes a black country, he finds himself asking, what about me? In the Maid’s Room is a scruffy, hilarious shambles of an episodic novel set in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth, that trendsetting bellwether of national change. It’s about the surfer, stoner culture of the Bay, but also the slow ignominious death of white entitlement. There’s also lank pomping.
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