My Mother's Lovers by Christopher Hope

My Mother's Lovers

Christopher Hope

His mother's mad and has lovers coming out of her ears. His country is even madder - apartheid South Africa and its aftermath. And the hero has to cope with Rain Queens, pygmies living in his back garden, a Cuban dancer pretending to be a doctor, and the bodyguard who ducked when Verwoerd was shot. Not the usual take on the liberation struggle and the building of a new South Africa - but if you're open to it, it could be an entertaining read.


The funeral was set for three, on a Wednesday afternoon, blue and shining, and I was early. Rosebank Catholic Chruch, on the corner of Tyrwhitt and Keyes Avenues, was a broad blond building with a soaring facade, and a police station across the road. There was a sex shop on the corner: Lucky Lovers, 'Everyone's Favourite Adult Entertainment Emporium'. It sold inflatable Miss South Africas (in 'all shades of our randy rainbow nation') and genuine rhino-hide whips ('taste the sting of Africa').

  • Interior by Justin Cartwright
  • Bitter Fruit by Achmat Dangor
  • Riotous Assembly by Tom Sharpe

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