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17 Apr 2003 11:10
Pamela Jooste’s first novel, Dance with a Poor Man’s Daughter (1997), dealt tellingly with the tribulations and resilience of a Cape coloured community. This award-winning novel was followed by Frieda and Min (1998) and Like Water in Wild Places (2000), both of which were well received but somehow failed to touch the heights achieved by Dance with a Poor Man’s Daughter.With People Like Ourselves (Doubleday), however, Jooste is back on top form and deals with a subject she knows and articulates well.
This is the tenor of post-apartheid South Africa — the “New South Africa” some years into the fledgling democracy.Central to the novel is Julia Merchant, an apparently spoilt white woman whose privileges are narrowing as her marriage unravels.
This is an edited version of Shirley Kossick’s address at the Cape Town launch of People Like Ourselves.
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