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Ways of Staying

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  50 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
After the brutal, random murder of his cousin, Kevin Bloom was left with shock, grief, and angerApartheid South Africa. But when his own cousin was killed in a vicious random attack, the questions he'd been asking about the troubling political and social changes in his country took on a sickeningly personal urgency. Suddenly, it felt as though this South Africa was no long ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Granta UK (first published 2010)
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Derek Baldwin
Mar 29, 2015 Derek Baldwin rated it it was amazing
I began to read this on a flight home from South Africa and completed it safely, if coldly, a few days before Easter here in England and in a way that sense of a foot in both camps is exactly the feeling that Kevin Bloom conveys very movingly in these pages. The dilemma can be summarized: I am an "English South African", I love this land, but recognise its not really "mine", and I have my UK passport in my back pocket...so should I stay...?

I came to my own conclusions decades ago and no amount o
...more
Carly
Feb 20, 2011 Carly rated it really liked it
I knew this book would be painful to read and it was. I think I was hoping that the book would offer up meangingful reasons for staying in South Africa, rather than ways of coping.

Bloom offers up the chance to do something meaningful for a suffering society as one reason for staying, but it is hard to hold on to when the book presents one horrific, violent story after another.

I did feel that the writer resorted a little bit to the white oral tradition of the "crime anecdote". You can tell endle
...more
Sandra
Jul 04, 2014 Sandra rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book about the moebius strip dilemma: how do I live in the place I fear and love the most? Kevin Bloom discusses the shifting sands of politics and the escalation of crime fueled by the growing hatred of South Africans of the makwerekwere, immigrant Africans. The image of the rainbow nation has been shattered. And with the clear conclusion that South Africa cannot be policed (see Jonny Steinberg's excellent "Thin Blue: The Unwritten Rules of Policing South Africa") the quest ...more
Caleb Benadum
Aug 14, 2013 Caleb Benadum rated it really liked it
Well-written and thoughtful, Kevin Bloom's reflections on South Africa, crime, politics, and race relations are worth looking at. This is not a textbook, by any means, but it is honest, and it asks questions that every faction within the "rainbow nation" would have a hard time answering. In the end there is one question that stands above all others: twenty years after the end of a institutional program of segregation, when the scars are still visible, the problems tangible, and the history doesn ...more
hilary
Nov 07, 2010 hilary rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book. I feel like there's not much more to say. It's a reflection on the possibility of staying in South Africa, even when many are leaving. It's hard to explain what it is -- part memoir, part journalism... it's very thoughtful and informative, as well as moving and well-written. A little gem.
Nicholas
Nov 14, 2010 Nicholas rated it liked it
Horrifying, bleak, and often a bit too self-congratulatory: the martyrdom of staying. But enlightening at the same time.
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