Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “To My Children's Children” as Want to Read:
To My Children's Children
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

To My Children's Children

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  106 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
This powerful and widely acclaimed autobiography of Sindiwe Magona's early years in South Africa, announced the arrival of a major new black writer. Here she gives an account of her eventful first 23 years and tells a candid, unself-pitying story of triumph and endurance in the face of hardships relentlessly reinforced by the apartheid system.
Paperback, 167 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Interlink Books (first published 1990)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about To My Children's Children, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about To My Children's Children

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Magona grew up in South Africa -- mostly in Cape Town -- in the 50s and 60s, when it was ruled by apartheid. Still, she had a happy childhood; her parents were uneducated but determined that their children would have opportunities.

What I didn't expect: Magona is funny. She tells her story lightly, not treading too heavily on the times when things were rough, not afraid to poke fun at anyone -- or at herself, both as a child and as an adult. She's biting, too, when it comes to apartheid, and to t
Apr 19, 2012 Marilyn rated it liked it
Guess I have read too many books about South AFrica and apartheid. Yes it was awful, but she made several bad choices that she seems to take no responxibiliby for. At least it was short.
Kelsey Demers
An interesting look into the life of a South African girl and her family/community life as she grows up during Apartheid. While the book is well written start to finish with humorous reflections on her childhood and teenage years, it is her final section and subsequent climax of the story where I feel Magona showed her true talent as a writer, giving a passionate and captivating reflection on her darkest days.

Overall, a very decent autobiography. Recommended for anyone interested in South Africa
Mar 04, 2008 Laurie rated it it was amazing
This book is about the early years of the author’s life. She is a woman from South Africa who grew up during apartheid. I really enjoyed this book- I also loved her novel, Mother to Mother. She writes incredibly well, I love her analogies, metaphors, etc. She has such a powerful voice. I especially appreciated the way it ended- that despite so many trials and hardships, she was able to recognize the blessings she’d received and acknowledged the good people in her community who looked out for her ...more
Jay Shelat
Mar 15, 2015 Jay Shelat rated it really liked it
This is an incredible story of an incredible woman. I've had the honor of meeting Dr. Magona, and it is evident that the experiences she tells in this memoir shape who she is today. This book is incredibly powerful in its story of one woman's struggle to support her family (and often times herself) in South Africa. This has ignited a passion for biographies and memoirs. One can become a better person from reading another's story. To My Children's Children is highly recommended!
Oct 21, 2010 Tiah added it
I greatly enjoyed this. The writing smoothed out and grew as the story moved along. By the final chapters I was reading the writing style that I've come to love in such works as 'Push-Push.' Perhaps it is due to the difficulty of trying to cram an entire childhood into half a book? Piercing insights into both herself, others and societal behaviour.
This memoir of growing up Xhosa in apartheid South Africa is very revealing. Magona describes a blissfully ignorant childhood later disillusioned by inter-race relationships. As a white woman currently living in Johannesburg, it forces me to take a second look at all my relationships.
Aug 03, 2012 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
An amazing look in Xhosa culture! I read this at the end of studying the language for a semester and I wish I had read it at the beginning, it was so informative and interesting.
Magona has a way of writing that keeps you reading until you are done, and then you want more.
Jul 22, 2008 iluvteaching rated it really liked it
this was one of the books mike had to read for his race and racism class. he thought i would like it and i did. this is a different point of view about south africa. i thought it was interesting, uplifting, and surprisingly very funny.
anderson mweni chibwa
anderson mweni chibwa marked it as to-read
Sep 22, 2016
Alison marked it as to-read
Sep 14, 2016
Kudzai Tsopotsa
Kudzai Tsopotsa marked it as to-read
Sep 14, 2016
Karen Corey
Karen Corey marked it as to-read
Sep 10, 2016
Melody is currently reading it
Sep 06, 2016
Luke marked it as to-read
Sep 03, 2016
Hannah rated it it was amazing
Sep 03, 2016
Alexander Twinokwesiga
Alexander Twinokwesiga marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2016
Jerry Jean
Jerry Jean rated it did not like it
Aug 11, 2016
Asha marked it as to-read
Aug 10, 2016
Dafna marked it as to-read
Aug 10, 2016
Ntombikayise marked it as to-read
Aug 09, 2016
Gregory marked it as to-read
Aug 08, 2016
Christy rated it liked it
Aug 01, 2016
Molly marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2016
Mikailah marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2016
Monica marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2016
Tumelo Moleleki
Tumelo Moleleki marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2016
Jerry marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Zenzele: A Letter for My Daughter
  • Fools And Other Stories
  • Ah But Your Land Is Beautiful
  • Country of My Skull: Guilt, Sorrow, and the Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa
  • Down Second Avenue: Growing Up in a South African Ghetto
  • Karoo Boy
  • Sizwe's Test: A Young Man's Journey Through Africa's AIDS Epidemic
  • Kehinde
  • Welcome to Our Hillbrow
  • The Kaiser's Holocaust: Germany's Forgotten Genocide and the Colonial Roots of Nazism
  • After Freedom: The Rise of the Post-Apartheid Generation in Democratic South Africa
  • You Can't Get Lost in Cape Town
  • Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote
  • Learning to Play With a Lion's Testicles: Unexpected Gifts From the Animals of Africa
  • Red Dust
  • Born in the Big Rains: A Memoir of Somalia and Survival
  • Some of My Best Friends are White: Subversive Thoughts from an Urban Zulu Warrior
  • A History of South Africa

Share This Book

“As far back as I can remember, there has always been a place to which I belonged with a certainty that nothing has been able to take from me. When I say place, that means less a geographical locality and more a group of people with whom I am connected and to whom I belong.” 0 likes
More quotes…