- Taschenbuch: 384 Seiten
- Verlag: Virago; Auflage: Reprint (6. August 2009)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1844085996
- ISBN-13: 978-1844085996
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,7 x 2,5 x 19,7 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 571.458 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Every Secret Thing: My Family, My Country (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 6. August 2009
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The author's parents, Ruth First and Joe Slovo, were South Africa's best-known white opponents of apartheid. First was assassinated in 1982; Slovo became housing minister in Nelson Mandela's multiracial government before dying of cancer. Reconstructing their lives--often in jail or in hiding--their daughter (born in 1952) writes with painful honesty of the war inside her between admiration for their convictions and desperate longing for the normalcy and security denied her as a child. There is no easy resolution here, but great love and sorrowful understanding. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
A luminous achievement (OBSERVER)
Wonderfully moving ... anger, frustration, and the hunger for sharing wash her pages, though they never swamp the admiration for her parents (GUARDIAN)
Gillian Slovo has written a brave book, as unsparing of herself as it is of her parents ... a moving testimony (Christopher Hope, INDEPENDENT)
An extraordinary expression of the very nature of loving, which illuminates, with the anger and tenderness of deep emotion, that human territory we all occupy, and where we conceal so much from ourselves (Nadine Gordimer)
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Second: Slovo has an absorbing style and one that makes it easy to the reader to follow her thoughts and to understand her opinion and feeelings.
This book is not only a literary highlight but also a very good historical - although naturally not objective - account of South AFrican history. Read it!
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I wasn't sure what I was expecting this book to be really since I knew nothing about Gillian Slovo (apart from her parentage) and I've never read any of her other books before but what I got was not what I was hoping for.
I never go into a non-fiction read especially a biography or a memoir thinking that it will be a fast paced read like a novel and while this is sometimes the case in this instance the book crawled like a turtle. It took forever for me to get into the writing style and even as I finished the book I still hadn't warmed up to it.
While I understand that the lives of those in the spotlight are neer what they appear to be and that what goes on behind closed doors is often nothing like we would imagine I was surprised that the author chose to refer to her parents by her first name. Perhaps this is because she was trying to distance herself from them in order to focus on them as people rather than mom and dad but it bothered me. The book was written with such a coldness it was as if she'd rather not be connect to them at all.
However given her tumultuous upbringing I can understand if there are old wounds that never healed but I suppose if you're going to discuss your family that it would be prudent to add some snippets of your family life like some warmer moments just to offset the cold clinical attitude that the author adopted. Another thing I disliked was that she skipped back and forth from from different points in time. Often I would find her referring to events in the 1950's and she would skip ahead to the 1980's and back again. There was no fluidity to the writing at all.
The one saving grace of the Every Secret Thing was that I learned an amazing amount about the real Ruth First and the real Joe Slovo. While the way their life stories were told didn't sit well with me I did get an intimate look into the history of this political powerhouse of a couple.
Overall, I wasn't too impressed with Every Secret Thing but I do respect Gillian Slovo for penning this book. It is no easy thing to delve into your parent's pasts and uncover long hidden secrets (like a long lost brother) and she should be commended for her efforts. I just wish that it was put forward in a better way. I would recommend this to people who enjoy biographies and those with an interest in reading about two people who helped change the world.
Yes, the tone of the book is occasionally petulant and self-centred, but one has to accept that it is a personal record, not an objective historical account. That said, certain things grated. One was the completely uncritical stance adopted towards the ANC, which is portrayed as a simple, virtuous, heroic organization fighting the good fight. The fight may have been good, but the ANC was compromised at every level, infiltrated by spies, dominated ideologically by the communist party (that was where Joe Slovo came in) and on record as having supported the Soviet invasions of Hungary and Chekoslovakia (so much for democracy and the will of the people).
Another thing that grated was Gillian Slovo's continuing indignation, bordering on disbelief, that the SA government liquidated her mother in Mozambique in 1982. Was this in any way surprizing? Ruth First and her husband were committed revolutionaries, dedicated to the overthrow of the state, if necessary by violence. What did Gillian expect the SA government to do? Send Ruth roses on her birthday? You live by the sword, you die by the sword - or explosives, in Ruth's case.
Four out of five stars.