LOVE INTERRUPTED is set partially in the university town of Grahamstown and partially in rural Limpopo. The stories in this collection have an intimate feel, like conversations eavesdropped on. We hear the voices of black South African women, many of whom have to endure their husbands’ nyatsis (mistresses), their abuse or both. Some cope by turning to church, others by turning a blind eye and some, like the narrator of “Vicious Cycle”, by seeking to understand the legacy of South Africa’s past and the effects of migrant labour on its men.
Despite serious themes of patriarchy and racism, there is much humour and lightness in the stories, as in “Bridal Shower”, in which the narrator encounters a male stripper for the first time, and in “Toy Boy”, in which a woman befriends the gigolo next door.
This is an engaging collection full or rich characters you won’t forget, from Lebo, whose dream is take over the business of her domestic worker’s mother’s boss, and uses a witchdoctor to punish her detractors to MmaPhuti, who spikes her famous ginger-beer with whiskey.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Reneilwe Malatji was born in Modjadji Village in 1968. She grew up in Turfloop Township, in the northern part of South Africa. She grew up in a home where her father was an academic and her mother was a school teacher. She trained as a teacher and worked as a subject specialist and advisor to provincial education departments. She has recently completed a post-graduate diploma in Journalism and an MA in Creative Writing at Rhodes University. She is currently working on a doctorate at Rhodes. Love Interrupted is her first book.
“These stories explore how relationships change as women gain independence and power … a significantly original word-dance, offset by a wry grin.” Paul Mason, creative writing lecturer at Rhodes University and Malatji’s supervisor.
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