In Corner B (Penguin Classics)
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The quintessential story collection from "the most important black South African writer of the present age" (George Moore).
Originally published in 1967, In Corner B contains the core stories of the original editions, together with more recent pieces, and is the first new edition of Mphahlele's work since his death in 2008. Written after his return from exile, these stories inimitably capture life in both rural and urban South Africa during the days of apartheid. A new introduction by Peter Thuynsma, a South African scholar and former Mphahlele student, presents the "dean of African letters" to a new generation of readers.
who might very well be fatherless as he was driving through the suburb; the picture of a dead man rolling down station steps and of Lebona pouring out his heart over a man he didn’t know ... These images turned round and round into a complex knot. He had got into the habit of thinking in terms of irreconcilable contradictions and opposition and categories. Black was black, white was white - that was all that mattered. So he couldn’t at the moment answer the questions that kept bobbing up from
that was everywhere around him. Something seemed to be stalking him all the time, waiting for the proper moment to pounce upon him. But he walked on, begged and stole food and lifts on lorries, until he reached Tshwane - Pretoria. There was the brief time in ‘the kitchens’, as houses of white people are called where one does domestic work, as if the white suburbs were simply a collection of kitchens. There were the brutal Sundays when he joined the Pietersburg youth, then working in the
smell of the house made me sick and seemed to fill up my throat. I went to the bathroom without knowing why. It was full of the smell of Madam. Dick was cleaning the bath. I stood at the door and looked at him cleaning the dirt out of the bath, dirt from Madam’s body. Sies! I said aloud. To myself I said, Why cannot people wash the dirt of their own bodies out of the bath? Before Dick knew I was near I went out. Ach, I said again to myself, why should I think about it now when I have been doing
waist, the breasts hanging down in cliffs of rubber. Next to him may be his wife; the two will stand in an attitude of primal expectancy, scouring the horizon with their eyes as if for some elemental sign-a sign that is to determine their instinctive move for the hour or season. No, Alex is not one of these. He is the quiet sort who has neither an exaggerated sense of mission nor that back to the womb look which characterises so many Whites who have come to work in Africa. He has been in Nigeria
find her in quick time - here, her last resting place ... THE STORY OF PENGUIN CLASSICS Before 1946 ... “Classics” are mainly the domain of academics and students; readable editions for everyone else are almost unheard of. This all changes when a little-known classicist, E. V. Rieu, presents Penguin founder Allen Lane with the translation of Homer’s Odyssey that he has been working on in his spare time. 1946 Penguin Classics debuts with The Odyssey, which promptly sells three million copies.