Welcome To Our Hillbrow, by Phaswane Mpe
Welcome To Our Hillbrow is an exhilarating and disturbing ride through the chaotic and hyper-real zone of Hillbrow -- microcosm of all that is contradictory, alluring and painful in the changing South African psyche.
Everything is there: the shattered dreams of youth, sexuality and its unpredictable costs, AIDS, xenophobia, suicide, the omnipotent violence that often cuts short the promise of young people, and the Africanist understanding of the life continuum that does not end with death but flows on into an ancestral realm.
Infused with the rhythms of the inner city pulsebeat, this courageous novel is compelling in its honesty and its broad vision, which links Hillbrow, rural Tiragalong and Oxford. It spills out the guts of Hillbrow-living with the same energy and intimate knowledge with which the Drum writers wrote Sophiatown into being.
Phaswane Mpe teaches African Literature and Publishing Studies at Wits University. He has worked extensively in the South African publishing industry as a freelance researcher and editor. Welcome To Our Hillbrow is his first novel.
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