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The Cry of Winnie Mandela

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  85 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
A group of African women at a specific period in Southern Africa s history find their family life under pressure from capitalist modernity and apartheid. This is a deeply humane, sympathetic and generous book on the one hand but is unflinching in its honesty. Ndebele represents a rare breed of writer able to combine political awareness with a sensitivity towards context, ...more
Paperback, 150 pages
Published December 19th 2006 by Ayebia Clarke Publishing (first published January 1st 2003)
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Feb 11, 2011 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lisa by: Kinna Reads
Everybody knows the story of Winnie Mandela, venerated as the stoic wife of the world’s secular saint Nelson Mandela while he languished in prison on Robben Island under the South African apartheid regime, only to be vilified as a wicked woman in the last few years before his release.

This remarkable book, The Cry of Winnie Mandela, A Novel uses the story of Penelope from Greek myth, to analyse the untenable position of women whose husbands are absent for long periods of time. It’s written from a
José Toledo
Jun 02, 2014 José Toledo rated it it was ok
The mere two-star rating requires a bit of an explanation. The Cry of Winnie Mandela is a great tale, with lofty subject matter and excellent writing, but presented as a novel it falls far short of stylistic and narrative expectations for the genre. I cannot comment on the revised version published last autumn because I have not seen it, but in this original one it is really quite a pity that five potentially immensely fascinating and powerful characters are obliterated by the collegiate voice ...more
Oct 06, 2012 Mariana rated it it was amazing
This amazing book talks about women in South Africa whose husbands are absent. There are millions of women whose husbands have left to work in the mines, factories, exile, education, disappearances and arrest-and-torture, also death. Many women whose husbands came back, found they came back as strangers. This book is a novel that tells the story of four women and Winnie Mandela. It gets it right!
Nina Chachu
Oct 14, 2012 Nina Chachu rated it liked it
One of the books I chose for my Africa Reading Challenge . I am not exactly over-enthused, I have to admit. I guess because the story was essentially a political commentary, not really a novel in my view. For what it said, fine; for characters not really.
Jacqui Robbins
Jan 10, 2015 Jacqui Robbins rated it really liked it
Four women waiting for their husbands meet to play a game in which they tell their stories and address Winnie Mandela in hopes she will share hers. This is a unique and fascinating book, in structure, in voice, and in the way it dances between and ties together the personal and political.
Jul 27, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it
In my opinion, an excellent book (though it's taken a lot of literary-criticism flak). It answers the call among many South African writers and critics for literature about women, family, and rural life. Moving, smart, provocative.
Jun 18, 2007 elizabeth rated it it was amazing
I've never read anything quite like this. As a meditation on waiting and gender, it beats the pants off Godot. I think there is something important, if imperfect, in his mix of mythologies. And (I realize this reveals my own limitations) I'm still startled that this book was written by a man...
Marty James
May 30, 2016 Marty James rated it really liked it
Excellent book. Ndebele writes with such lucidity and intelligence. A great story-teller and essayist, here he shows himself a passionate intelligent man interested in womens issues with not a hint of paternalism. Elegant writing.
Themba Bhekizulu
Jun 21, 2016 Themba Bhekizulu rated it really liked it
Yes, man. Ndebele knows this stuff. This is good. Good study of the powerful women in our society. Frightening to think back on our history and see how our people - especially our women - have been treated and how they've responded. Important book, this.
Jan 04, 2011 Nicholas rated it it was amazing
Quite an original and impressive book about the waiting of women during the apartheid era. Imaginative and interesting.
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Professor Njabulo Simakahle Ndebele an academic, a literary and a writer of fiction, is the former Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Cape Town.

Ndebele's father was Nimrod Njabulo Ndebele and his mother was Makhosazana Regina Tshabangu. He married Mpho Kathleen Malebo on 30 July 1971. They have one son and two daughters. Ndebele was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in English and Philoso
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