Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa

by Mark Mathabane

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Student Question

As a literary critic, how would you review Kaffir Boy and would you recommend others to read it? Why or why not?

Expert Answers

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Personally, I would give Kaffir Boy a positive review, and I'd recommend that others read it. Emotionally, it is a difficult book to read, but it teaches us a great deal about life under one of the most notorious repressive regimes in recent history. Although apartheid laws have been repealed in South Africa, it is important for all of us to be aware of how cruel people can be to each other when racism is institutionalized.

Kaffir Boy has a few weaknesses. The writing is occasionally a little clunky or unclear. However, this is excusable in a book that was written to share difficult life experiences, not to fulfill great literary ambitions.

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