by Jonny Steinberg - £13.99 Vintage (2009)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780099524199 | ISBN 10: 0099524198
At the end of a steep gravel road in one of the remotest corners of South Africa's Eastern Cape lies the village of Ithanga. Home to a few hundred villagers, the majority of them unemployed, it is inconceivably poor. It is to here that award-winning South African author Jonny Steinberg travels to explore the lives of a community caught up in a battle to survive the ravages of the greatest plague of our times, the African AIDS epidemic. He befriends Sizwe, a young local man who refuses to be tested for Aids despite the existence of a well-run testing and anti-retroviral programme. It is his deep ambivalence, rooted in his deep sense of the cultural divide, that becomes the key to understanding the dynamics that thread their way through a complex and traditional rural community. As Steinberg grapples to get closer to finding answers that remain maddeningly just out of reach, he realizes that he must look within himself to unravel certain riddles.
(Price & availability last checked: September 2018)