The re-election of Jacob Zuma as ANC president – and, mostly likely, as South African president – gives fresh impetus to Load-shedding, the second collection of non-fiction stories from South Africa’s pre-eminent authors, journalists and commentators, edited by Liz McGregor and Sarah Nuttall. The year Load-shedding was published, 2008, was a time of great uncertainty. There were the frequent electricity black-outs which gave the book its title. It marked the end of the Mbeki era and the ascendancy of Jacob Zuma, a man whose populism, polygamous lifestyle, lack of political vision or attention to details of policy, provoked anxiety. The feeling was that we were living at the end of the dream years, of our Big Idea, and that we would need to find a different form of politics and a new personal resilience in order to move forward, both with the life of the country and with our own lives. These personal accounts reflect the ambivalence of the age. Covering diverse subjects such as corruption in the countryside, sexual abuse, ‘Zuluness’ in time of Zuma, crime and loss, they shed new light on our South African world.
Contributors include: Imraan Coovadia, Jacob Dlamini, Michael Titlestad, Sarah Nuttall, Deborah Posel, Achille Mbembe, Liz McGregor and Karina Szczurek.
“The voices of these writers are fresh, provocative, sometimes discomforting, but always edifying and highly readable.” Mark Gevisser.
“This is a unique commentary on ourselves and our times.” Jonny Steinberg.
“McGregor and Nuttall have again managed to put together a collection that illustrates that the authentic South African voice is not only alive, but vigorous, curious and searingly honest. This is an eclectic, delightful and beautifully-written bundle that I shall treasure for years to come.” Justice Malala.