The novel traces close community of District Six through its moments of triumph and despair, its loves, its hatreds- and its bizarre characters. In 1966 parts of District Six were declared for white occupation only, in terms of South Africa's notorious Group Areas Act. The inhabitants were forced to leave for the bleak wastelands of the Cape Flats.
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By all accounts, District Six was a filthy slum at the foot of Table Mountain, which overlooks Cape Town, South Africa. But to the "coloured" people who lived there, it was an oasis of community spirit and boisterous fun until it was declared a "white area" in 1966 under provisions of the Group Acts Law and bull-dozed to the ground. In this vivacious novel centering on five moldy cottages affectionately called Buckingham Palace, Rive, an eminent South African writer, captures the soul of District Six and the tenacious grit of its bizarre inhabitants. The story flies through three decades in the lives of Zoot, Pretty-Boy, Mary of the Casbah, Mr. Knight-Before-Last, the Jungle Boys and their Jewish landlord Katzen. Rive brilliantly intensifies their tragedy by homing in on their humorous humanity rather than on their eventual dispersal at the hands of an arrogant government.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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