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Emergency Continued

By (author) Richard Rive
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Readers International, Columbia, United States
Published: 31st May 1991
Dimensions: w 126mm h 210mm d 11mm
Weight: 177g
ISBN-10: 0930523881
ISBN-13: 9780930523886
Barcode No: 9780930523886

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Kirkus UK
This is one of the most balanced and beautifully written accounts to have emerged from contemporary South Africa. Centering around the relationship between a previously radical father, now quiet in his protests, and a reckless and highly politicized son, the novel is set against the actual political events of the mid to late 1980s. The story is fraught with tensions, weaving through the social and personal chaos that permeates every aspect of life in black South Africa where a State of Emergency is the norm. Rive's writing controls the chaos of the subject matter, allowing us to perceive connations wider than the obvious political sensibilities. (Kirkus UK)
Kirkus US
A continuation of the late South African writer Rive's fictional account of the black struggle in South Africa begun with his first novel, Emergency (1970 - not reviewed), a chronicle of the 1960's. With the same protagonist, Andrew Dreyer, the narrative has moved to 1985 - a period not only of great political unrest but of increased tensions between the generations. Dreyer, a teacher and failed writer, has sought to isolate himself from his activist past and failed love affair with a white woman, Ruth, by living a conventional life. He has married, has two children, and is relatively prosperous but lonely and unhappy. And when black schoolchildren revolt against the system, and the violence spreads, schools close, children are arrested, and killed in protests, Dreyer - like many of the older generation - is uneasy with the young people's emphasis on conformity and confrontation. But when his activist son Bradley disappears, Dreyer becomes increasingly involved in events as be searches for his son and meets friends from the past. It is as much a search for his son as for his former self, and it is recorded here by Dreyer partly in letters to an old friend in Canada and partly in a "novel that was about a writer writing a novel, that was incomplete, because it was waiting for the next section to happen...a blur between fact and fiction." Though the prose is at times pedestrian, Rive movingly describes the terrible toll apartheid has taken on individuals, families, and whole communities. A memorable portrait of a particular time, place, and condition. (Kirkus Reviews)