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To My Children's Children

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  125 Ratings  ·  14 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)
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Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Exceptionally written. Made up of words which had my emotions all over the place.

Mama Sindiwe emptied herself. She poured all which she wanted her grandchildren and great-grandchildren to know. About her beginnings. Her dreams as a girl, young lady, mother, wife and grandmother.

The book is made up of 5 short stories each depicting a stage, a journey of Mama Sindiwe's life. All told in a prose so deliciously fluid that the smudges of Xhosa didn't throw me off. Actually, they added to the narrativ
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 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.
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Sindiwe Magona writes an amazing memoir worthy of Christmas story of the year for me. She is the first South Africa woman writer I can say, "I love" wholeheartedly and without reserve. Life before and during Apartheid for her was difficult beyond imagination and yet she survived, pursued a teaching education, raised her three children and several younger siblings. Eventually she sees she has never been doing the work all alone, as many helping hands, smiling faces, generous souls kept her a ...more
Feb 25, 2008 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
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
Jay Shelat
Jan 16, 2015 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 09, 2010 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.
Aug 03, 2012 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.
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.
Jul 22, 2008 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.
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“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
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