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Muriel at Metropolitan
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Muriel at Metropolitan

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  64 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Banned when it was first published in South Africa in 1979, Muriel at Metropolitan is set in a bustling furniture and electronics store catering for poor whites and blacks and describes the daily experiences of Muriel, the accounts typist. Her relationship with her colleagues and her feelings about the stream of customers who come into the shop are depicted and illustrate ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 1st 1998 by Addison Wesley Publishing Company (first published 1979)
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Jul 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-for-fun
This was an odd book - it dealt almost exclusively with the protagonist's work life, and was more episodic than plot-driven. Her husband never even got a name. Muriel herself only started to pick up character development about halfway through: for the most part she is an observer and commentator on the world around her.

I did really like this book, though. Muriel's internal POV is a nice place to be: wry, insightful, starkly aware of the race politics around her, but generous to everyone. The pro
Sabrina Robinson
Apr 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: our-library
Written from the perspective of a black working woman in South Africa during apartheid. Reminds me in some aspects of things I've read about the South (of America)... Institutionalized racism, stupid rules (can't use the same bathrooms), a certain degree of anger and fear, a certain degree of resignation. I don't know much about South Africa, so I don't know how historically accurate this is, but Muriel's story is frustrating. So many of the characters want change, but are unsure of or scared of ...more
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muriel is an office worker at Metropolitan Radio, a shop in Johannesburg selling radios and household goods to both 'white' and mostly 'black' people. Many of the customers buy goods on an installment plan; many of them are unable to pay the installments. Muriel is 'black' but has to work in close proximity to 'white' office workers. In this book, Muriel describes many episodes during her career at Metropolitan during the 1970s, in the depth of the apartheid era in South Africa.

This book provide
Aidan Gibson
This is a quite interesting book. Episodic, with details almost thrown in--it takes until the middle of the book to discover Muriel is married with children, for example. Muriel is an excellent observer, and the book is a commentary on all that is going around her. In that sense, it allows oneself to understand her experience, and is quite realistic in that way. It's political but delivered in a way that is engaging and wry, not didactically.
May 28, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: textbooks
You'd think a book describing a Black woman's experience during apartheid-era South Africa would be interesting--but it's not.
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Miriam Tlali (born 11 November 1933) is a South African novelist. She was the first black woman in South Africa to publish a novel, Muriel at Metropolitan, in 1979. She was also one of the first to write about Soweto.

Miriam Masoli Tlali was born in Doornfontein, Johannesburg, and attended St Cyprian's Anglican School and then Madibane High School. She studied at the University of the Witwatersrand
More about Miriam Tlali...

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