For a glimpse into township life as South Africa prepares for its first democratic election in 1994, this is your book. Niq Mhlongo does not flinch from describing the awfulness, including a graphic description of gonorrhoea, nor does he underplay the hope and joy of that time. His descriptions of what life was like that April are accurate. And he is a precise, careful and poetic writer.
I took two tall glasses out of my cupboard and poured juice into them both. I handed one full glass to her. I then took a dinner plate that I had stolen from the dining hall the other day and emptied a packet of snacks onto it. I snuggled down beside her on my bed and watched as she threw a snack into her mouth, then crunche it slowly between her milk-white teeth. Although there was no direct eye contact between us, she could see out of the corner of her right eye that I was watching her as she dug into the snacks. She pretended to be concentrating on Drum magazine.