Tsotsi, Athol Fugard

The Book Lovers' Sanctuary

Finished reading this now, waiting for students at school to catch up! If only some damn fool of a teacher just let them read it instead of teaching it and making them do work on it! Oh well!

This is an outstanding book! The quality of the writing literally glitters on the page and the novel reads more as a poem than a novel: I have never read such a lyrical piece of writing.

The novel revolves around the character of Tsotsi, a young man who is the leader of a gang of four thugs in Sophiatown, Johannesburg, South Africa in the 1950s. The name Tsotsi itself means “thug” or “gangster” and we are told in chapter one that it is a nickname: he has no recollection of almost any part of his past including his own name. Identity is a huge part of this novel: Tsotsi’s lack of identity…

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