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Miriam's Song: A Memoir [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Mark Mathabane
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Kurzbeschreibung

12. Juni 2001
Mark Mathabane first came to prominence with the publication of Kaffir Boy, which became a New York Times bestseller. His story of growing up in South Africa was one of the most riveting accounts of life under apartheid. Mathabane's newest book, Miriam's Song, is the story of Mark's sister, who was left behind in South Africa. It is the gripping tale of a woman -- representative of an entire generation -- who came of age amid the violence and rebellion of the 1980s and finally saw the destruction of apartheid and the birth of a new, democratic South Africa.
Mathabane writes in Miriam's voice based on stories she told him, but he has re-created her unforgettable experience as only someone who also lived through it could. The immediacy of the hardships that brother and sister endured -- from daily school beatings to overwhelming poverty -- is balanced by the beauty of their childhood observations and the true affection that they have for each other.

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 320 Seiten
  • Verlag: Free Press; Auflage: 1st Touchstone Ed (12. Juni 2001)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0743203240
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743203241
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 1,8 x 21,3 x 13,8 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 400.235 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

Ken Otterbourg The Winston-Salem Journal Inspirational and often affecting...there is an important message to this story.

Glamour This memoir of growing up in South Africa during apartheid is alternately evocative and wrenching, but always inspiring....[It] captures both the brutality and beauty of their childhood.

Synopsis

When the author and his family moved to America, his sister, Miriam, remained in South Africa. This tale, told in Miriam's voice, tells of a woman who came of age amid the violence and rebellion of the 1980s. She saw the destruction of the hates apartheid system and the birth of a new and democratic South Africa. Miriam emerges as both an innocent child drawn into the war against aparteid and a strong woman forever changed by the struggles, brutality and politics of the world around her.

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It is toward the end of January, the middle of summer in South Africa. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Mark Mathabane does it again! 9. Juli 2000
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
MIRIAM'S SONG is the heartbreaking, but hauntingly beautiful, story of a black girl's struggle to overcome the difficulties of living in South Africa under apartheid to achieve her one goal in life. Her brother, Mark Mathabane, writing in the first person present tense, reveals the horrors of living in a ghetto of Alexandra where poverty, filth, violence, abuse, and fear are everyday occurrences.
In spite of a dysfunctional family headed by an abusive father more interested in buying alcohol for himself than food for his family of eight living in a two-room shack with an open sewer in the front door, Miriam is determined to get an education. The Bantu (Black) Education system is staffed by cruel teachers who are more interested in clean hands and fingernails, combed hair, and clean bloomers (or if they have bloomers) than the quality of education in overcrowded, and understaffed classroom with inadequate teaching materials. Miriam is encouraged by her mother to do her best to succeed in spite of the handicaps.
The book is a social commentary on a society where women are subservient to men, where polygamy is the accepted way, and where physical, mental, and sexual abuse are a way of life in the ghettos. Miriam resides in a culture where witchcraft, divination, and the casting of spells are accepted, and she and her mother are criticized for attending church services.
MIRIAM'S SONG is also a commentary on the conditions blacks endure in a country where they make up a vast majority of the population but have no voice in the government.
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Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is the first I have ever read of the Mathabane Family and their remarkable accomplishments despite the contrived, race-based evil that was Apartheid. For this book to be referred to as "defused and vague" causes one to wonder what horrors constitute clarity, and how graphic must descriptions be of tortured children (by the government), rape, murder, and a uniquely gruesome form of killing referred to as being "necklaced" to satisfy the voyeur. "Unsparingly graphic" is succinct, accurate, and sorrowfully true.
Apartheid was another example of how deranged one group can be to another, and happily its ultimate fate was to become the abortion of hatred that it was, but during its reign prior to its predestined death, the horror it caused was epic. I felt I was fairly informed about the topic, this book proved that feeling to be very wrong.
"Bantu Education" will forever be a monument to the manner an enlightened minority was determined to keep the majority "in their place". Despite this system of abuse, humiliation, and a goal to keep a people ignorant, the oppressed broke the system's back. Whether it was a man spending 25 years in prison only to emerge as a World Figure, or students like Miriam who just would not quit, the delusion the minority of whites so badly wanted, was appropriately destroyed.
The story that Miriam relates through her Brother opened up new realities of Apartheid I was unaware of. The large demonstrations that became a fixture on World news were composed partly of students "impressed" like soldiers centuries ago into participating. Refusing to participate could court death.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Mark Mathabane does it again! 9. Juli 2000
Von Dr. Gilbert Huffman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
MIRIAM'S SONG is the heartbreaking, but hauntingly beautiful, story of a black girl's struggle to overcome the difficulties of living in South Africa under apartheid to achieve her one goal in life. Her brother, Mark Mathabane, writing in the first person present tense, reveals the horrors of living in a ghetto of Alexandra where poverty, filth, violence, abuse, and fear are everyday occurrences.
In spite of a dysfunctional family headed by an abusive father more interested in buying alcohol for himself than food for his family of eight living in a two-room shack with an open sewer in the front door, Miriam is determined to get an education. The Bantu (Black) Education system is staffed by cruel teachers who are more interested in clean hands and fingernails, combed hair, and clean bloomers (or if they have bloomers) than the quality of education in overcrowded, and understaffed classroom with inadequate teaching materials. Miriam is encouraged by her mother to do her best to succeed in spite of the handicaps.
The book is a social commentary on a society where women are subservient to men, where polygamy is the accepted way, and where physical, mental, and sexual abuse are a way of life in the ghettos. Miriam resides in a culture where witchcraft, divination, and the casting of spells are accepted, and she and her mother are criticized for attending church services.
MIRIAM'S SONG is also a commentary on the conditions blacks endure in a country where they make up a vast majority of the population but have no voice in the government. The author skillfully paints a vivid picture of the struggle for equality and how peaceful strikes, stayaways, and demonstrations give way to violence and to the eventual triumphant overthrow of the white-only government.
Even though MIRIAM'S SONG recounts some of the struggles Mark Mathabane wrote about in KAFFIR BOY, it should join his earlier work on the list of required reading for students throughout the world. It is must reading for anyone interested in human rights and the struggle to overcome apartheid in South Africa. It reads like a novel but carries the impact of an atomic bomb.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Remarkable woman, her brother, and the Family he saved. 4. Juli 2000
Von taking a rest - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is the first I have ever read of the Mathabane Family and their remarkable accomplishments despite the contrived, race-based evil that was Apartheid. For this book to be referred to as "defused and vague" causes one to wonder what horrors constitute clarity, and how graphic must descriptions be of tortured children (by the government), rape, murder, and a uniquely gruesome form of killing referred to as being "necklaced" to satisfy the voyeur. "Unsparingly graphic" is succinct, accurate, and sorrowfully true.
Apartheid was another example of how deranged one group can be to another, and happily its ultimate fate was to become the abortion of hatred that it was, but during its reign prior to its predestined death, the horror it caused was epic. I felt I was fairly informed about the topic, this book proved that feeling to be very wrong.
"Bantu Education" will forever be a monument to the manner an enlightened minority was determined to keep the majority "in their place". Despite this system of abuse, humiliation, and a goal to keep a people ignorant, the oppressed broke the system's back. Whether it was a man spending 25 years in prison only to emerge as a World Figure, or students like Miriam who just would not quit, the delusion the minority of whites so badly wanted, was appropriately destroyed.
The story that Miriam relates through her Brother opened up new realities of Apartheid I was unaware of. The large demonstrations that became a fixture on World news were composed partly of students "impressed" like soldiers centuries ago into participating. Refusing to participate could court death. The treatment of women specifically and in general was again a horror, and one that was implemented not by the government but by the anarchy that reigned in the ghetto. Some was clearly based on tradition, tribal conflict, and superstition, but none of it was justifiable.
Mark managed to gain his way to the USA, and once here never forgot his family. With the help of some well-known celebrities he brought his Family to the United States. His best-selling book "Kaffir Boy" not only supported his Family until they could be brought to the USA, but brought even more attention to the malignancy that was Apartheid
I am glad they made it, I thank those who helped them, and I believe the spirit that kept them alive makes them a great addition to this Country, not only as citizens, but role models.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Eye opening book 8. Juli 2001
Von Gowie - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
How nice it is to sit in our American homes and vaguely read of the troubles of South Africa. I am ashamed to have never paid more attention to this subject. This is a riveting book that takes you past the superficial headlines and into the lives of the blacks who suffered under apartheid.
The Mathabane family lives in a suburb of Johannesburg, in a one-square mile ghetto that is home to over 200,000 people (400,000 by the end of the book). Employment is hard to come by--for one to work, one must have a permit. But to get a permit, one must have a job.
Their home is a two room shack, where four of the children sleep on the kitchen floor. There is a communal tap outside. Raw sewage runs in the street outside their door. Black children are only allowed to be taught certain subjects in a certain manner, and Miriam and her classmates are routinely beaten for any infraction--mistakes in schoolwork, uncombed hair, nails that are dirty/too long, wearing dirty bloomers, or not wearing bloomers at all. (These people live in complete poverty, and it was not uncommon for children to not have underwear.) The young teenage girls are easy targets of sexual abuse. Many become pregnant, single mothers, unable to finish school.
While the story is unbelievably horrifying, their outlook is one of constant hope and faith. I am unable to get this family out of my mind, and I will be reading Mark Mathabane's autobiographical books as soon as I get my hands on them...This is an amazing story of how people in other parts of the world live. I strongly recommend this book.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen No more complaining... 23. August 2001
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
...about my life, my educational opportunities, my social status. Miriam's Song should be required reading for all spoiled brats who think their lives are difficult. Shame on me for ever taking education for granted! Shame on me for ever complaining that my opportunities in the US are limited because of my gender! This book left an indelible mark on my social consciousness. Not just a touching and eye-opening memoir, but also a story of fierce determination and strength, Miriam's Song ranks among my must-reads. Her story is inspiring and her candid writing makes the reader feel as if she is sitting right there in the room, like an new friend telling you about her life. The text does not attempt to justify or rationalize or otherwise explain the social structure, and is remarkably pure in its telling of Miriam's story. Because this book is free from philisophy and pontification about wrong and right, fair and unfair, here-and-there comparisons, the reader is left to come to these realizations on his/her own and thus the story becomes most poignant. I find myself wondering how Miriam is doing now, and would welcome another book including the rest of her story and her observations of the US. Whole-heartedly recommended. Finished it yesterday and loaned it to a friend today.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen A New Tune Laura H 12. Dezember 2006
Kinder-Rezension - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
The book Miriam's Song, by Mark Mathabane, opened my eyes to the hardships and terrifying stories of Alexandria's slums and poverty. Told through the eyes of Miriam Mathabane, a poor black girl in Alexandria, South Africa, the story is inspirational and heart braking at the same time. From the beginning of the book, I was enthralled by the vivid details of Miriam's Bantu Education and poor living conditions. By the end of the book I felt as if I was inside Miriam's head, dealing with her emotions as if they were mine and following her story with a devout interest. This is the story of her struggle to overcome the difficulties of living in South Africa during the apartheid to achieve the power women and blacks were starved of.

Miriam lived in a dysfunctional family consisting of an abusive father, smart but illiterate mother, and enough brothers and sisters to lose track of. The family lived in a shack they called a house, in an over crowded slum full of disease and mal-hygiene. On top of all of her hardships at home, Miriam had to deal with the Bantu (black) Educational system, which was staffed by cruel teachers and based on tough discipline. The teachers were more interested in clean hands and fingernails than the quality of education in the over crowded classes. In the book Miriam describes one experience with the strange education system saying, "Mama forgot to borrow a fingernail clipper... to trim my long and dirty finger nails... the mistress finally class my name... I gingerly step forward. I never take my eyes off the thick ruler in the mistress's right hand... `They are long and dirty'... the mistress slowly raises the thick ruler... high up in the air and prepares to rap my fingers." (24). It is clear that the mistress, or teacher, is worrying more than she should be on how long each students nails are and is disciplining in a harsh way. The only encouraging force keeping Miriam in the awful school was her brave mother who was continually encouraging.

This book taught me more about how women are treated in superiorly in other places of the world and how differently I live from many other people. It was clear through out the story that physical and sexual abuse was accepted in the ghetto of Alexandria and was quite common. The discrimination of blacks was also very surprising. Even when the vast majority of the population was black, they were still treated like animals, and squeezed into small towns around the country. It was inspiring to read about the struggles for equality and the great measures many people went through to overcome the all-white government.

After reading Miriam's Song I have gained a new respect for black women all over the world. The story showed me a new side of inequality not just judged by the color of skin but by gender. Miriam taught me to stand up for what I believe in and "fight the system." This is a great book for girls throughout the country to read because it is encouraging and a great read.
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