White Lightning

by Justin Cartwright

A troubled white South African returns to his scarred homeland in search of a new life and a sense of belonging. This is not an 'issue' book or overtly political yet it's full of sharply perceptive thinking about history, personal and national and it's touched throughout with moments of humour and tenderness. It takes a while to get into so give it time.


I am down on the beach, which once I feared. I collect a few shells. I look at their delicate symmetry and pale intricacy. I wonder, without hope of an answer, if our sense of proportion comes from observation of natural things or from an innate sense of order. And then I run a few hundred yards, propelled by the wind. I am drawn to these women who clamber up the dunes and hack at the scrub for firewood. I think of the beach as common land, and I don't leave it, although I would like to see how they live in their shacks.



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