Country of My Skull

Country of My Skull

Paperback

By (author) Antjie Krog

$13.32
List price $17.17
You save $3.85 22% off

Free delivery worldwide
Available
Dispatched in 1 business day
When will my order arrive?

  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 464 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 190mm x 30mm | 322g
  • Publication date: 4 November 1999
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099289792
  • ISBN 13: 9780099289791
  • Sales rank: 77,165

Product description

The first free elections in South Africa's history were held in 1994. Within a year legislation was drafted to create a Truth and Reconcilliation Commission to establish a picture of the gross human rights violations committed between 1960 and 1993. It was to seek the truth and make it known to the public and to prevent these brutal events ever happening again. From 1996 and over the following two years South Africans were exposed almost daily to revelations about their traumatic past. Antije Krog's full account of the Commission's work using the testimonies of the oppressed and oppressors alike is a harrowing and haunting book in which the voices of ordinary people shape the course of history. WINNER OF SOUTH AFRICA'S SUNDAY TIMES ALAN PATON AWARD

Other people who viewed this bought:

Showing items 1 to 10 of 10

Other books in this category

Showing items 1 to 11 of 11
Categories:

Author information

Antjie Krog was born in 1952 in Kroonstad, a town in the Free State province of South Africa. She has published eight volumes of poetry, several of which have been translated into European languages and have won international prizes. Reporting as Antjie Samuel, the author and her SABC radio team received the Pringle Award for excellence in journalism for reporting on the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission. Krog also won the Foreign Correspondents' Award for outstanding journalism for her articles on the Truth Commission. She went on to become parliamentary editor for SABC radio in 1997 and has since been appointed as an Extraordinary Professor in the Arts Faculty at the University of the Western Cape. Antjie Krog is married and is the mother of four children.

Review quote

"One of the best books of the year" The Economist "No one will tell us more about the struggle for the Afrikaner's soul; for this book, like the events it reports, is an act of redemption" Daily Telegraph "Krog's account of the hearings, which recorded 20,000 statements from victims and nearly 8,000 applications for amnesty, is vivid and impassioned" Mail on Sunday "Whatever it is that makes a major lasting work of non-fiction, it is here" Observer "Her accounts are so powerful, her resilience, humour and compassion so engaging...to have written this book is heroic" Sunday Times

Editorial reviews

This searing examination is a compelling achievement that considers the nature of guilt, shame, and forgiveness in post-apartheid South Africa, yet also sometimes feels exactly like what it is - a series of clumsily stitched-together news reports. For more than two years, South African radio reporter and esteemed poet Krog covered the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's investigations into crimes committed on all sides in the name of apartheid. Headed by the Nobel Prize-winning Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the commission held out the promise of complete amnesty, but only in return for complete honesty about each and every offense. Hearings were held all around the country, with victims and their families able to confront their torturers. The testimony was painfully riveting, and Krog includes vast, uninterpolated swaths of accounts of bombings, beatings, rapes, and murder squads. She details expertly the effects of such terrible revelations on white South Africans, most of whom had never thought (or wanted to think) about the true cost of sustaining apartheid; what had once seemed to them like standard-issue authoritarianism eventually was viewed as unmitigated evil, reminiscent of nothing so much as Nazi Germany. Although the Truth Commission itself has been criticized for a relatively lenient treatment of the African National Congress, Krog is not blind to the anti-apartheid opposition's own multifarious brutalities. However, she is so focused on the particularities and intricacies of the South African experience that many general readers will find substantial chunks of this book somewhat inaccessible, despite a concluding glossary of South African terms and brief bios. Krog's poetic and reportorial gifts often serve her well - her lapidary profundity and keen-edged analysis are frequently superb. Still, she fails to craft them into a sustained or focused narrative. Like the truth itself, a messy, imposing sprawl. (Kirkus Reviews)

Flap copy

Ever since Nelson Mandela dramatically walked out of prison in 1990 after twenty-seven years behind bars, South Africa has been undergoing a radical transformation. In one of the most miraculous events of the century, the oppressive system of apartheid was dismantled. Repressive laws mandating separation of the races were thrown out. The country, which had been carved into a crazy quilt that reserved the most prosperous areas for whites and the most desolate and backward for blacks, was reunited. The dreaded and dangerous security force, which for years had systematically tortured, spied upon, and harassed people of color and their white supporters, was dismantled. But how could this country--one of spectacular beauty and promise--come to terms with its ugly past? How could its people, whom the oppressive white government had pitted against one another, live side by side as friends and neighbors? To begin the healing process, Nelson Mandela created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, headed by the renowned cleric Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Established in 1995, the commission faced the awesome task of hearing the testimony of the victims of apartheid as well as the oppressors. Amnesty was granted to those who offered a full confession of any crimes associated with apartheid. Since the commission began its work, it has been the central player in a drama that has riveted the country. In this book, Antjie Krog, a South African journalist and poet who has covered the work of the commission, recounts the drama, the horrors, the wrenching personal stories of the victims and their families. Through the testimonies of victims of abuse and violence, from the appearance of Winnie Mandela toformer South African president P. W. Botha's extraordinary courthouse press conference, this award-winning poet leads us on an amazing journey. Country of My Skull captures the complexity of the Truth Commission's work. The narrative is often traumatic, vivid, and provocative. Krog's powerful prose lures the reader actively and inventively through a mosaic of insights, impressions, and secret themes. This compelling tale is Antjie Krog's profound literary account of the mending of a country that was in colossal need of change.