What Do I Read Next?
Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 386
Gordimer won the Booker Prize for her 1974 novel The Conservationist. The novel fictionalizes the consciousness of the agricultural settlers in South Africa and sets up the question being answered in Burger's Daughter and July's People. The question is, what role will whites have m the future of South Africa?
Burger's Daughter, also by Gordimer (1979), won several awards but was banned in South Africa. It is the story of a woman very much the opposite of Maureen Smales. She is Rosa Burger, the daughter of Lionel Burger (a fictionalization of Abram Fischer—a very prominent leader of the South African Communist Party), whose self-liberation from familial restraints requires acceptance of her political inheritance and challenges apartheid. One of the sources for this novel was Joe Slovo's 1976 essay, "South Africa-No Middle Road".
July's People has often been compared to Waiting for the Barbarians (1980), by J.M. Coetzee, because of similar questions about the fate of those in power. Coetzee's story is a parable about colonialism told by the magistrate of a fort. A garrison has come to help defend the fort against unseen barbarians. Eventually, the garrison retreats and things return to normal, but it's unclear whether anyone will survive the coming winter or when the barbarians will attack.
When the crackdown on dissent came in the 1960s in the wake of the ANC ban, Ruth First was one of the first to be imprisoned. She wrote about her experience in a novel called 117 Days (1965). She was assassinated by letter bomb in 1982 and was survived by her husband, who was living in exile, Joe Slovo.
Gordimer's novel makes constant mention of health problems. Randall M. Pakard's 1990 work, White Plague, Black Labor: Tuberculosis and the Political Economy of Health and Disease in South Africa (Comparative Studies of Health Systems and M), discusses the daunting health problems of South Africa.
G. H. L. Le May's 1995 work, The Afrikaners: An Historical Interpretation, attempts to put some perspective on the people known as Afrikaners and their political system known as apartheid. He does so with hindsight and from a new South Africa.
In 1987, Universal Pictures released a film, entitled Cry Freedom, about the events which led South Africans to suspect that a revolution was imminent. Denzel Washington played Steve Biko and Kevin Kline played Donald Woods, the editor of the Daily Dispatch.