Read Sometimes there is a Void – Memoirs of an Outsider by Zakes Mda Online


Sometimes There Is A Void is a remarkable record of the life of awardwinning novelist and playwright Zakes Mda.Eminently readable, Mda weaves past and present together to give us an intensely personal story of the writer’s development in life, in love and in learning. Forced to follow his father, PAC ‘founding spirit’ A P Mda, into exile in Lesotho (then still Basutoland)Sometimes There Is A Void is a remarkable record of the life of awardwinning novelist and playwright Zakes Mda.Eminently readable, Mda weaves past and present together to give us an intensely personal story of the writer’s development in life, in love and in learning. Forced to follow his father, PAC ‘founding spirit’ A P Mda, into exile in Lesotho (then still Basutoland) at the age of fourteen, Zakes Mda finds freedom from close parental discipline irresistible and becomes a frequenter of shebeens and an exponent of fast living at an early age, although he iseventually drawn back to wanting a good education above all other things. After many twists and turns, and a few false starts, we follow his journey to Athens, Ohio, where he is now professor of creative writing. Forthright almost to a fault, it is a vigorous and colourful story enriched by Mda’s dry humourand his ability to engage with his reader on a very personal level.Always outspoken, Mda has in the past voiced his disappointment in, and been critical of, what he sees as ‘crony capitalism’ and the ‘patronage system’ in the ‘new’ South Africa – a lot of which was highlighted in hislast novel Black Diamond – and finds that he has been side-lined in many aspects of South African culture where he feels he could make a significant contribution. Because he ‘resisted the centre’ and ‘stayed on the periphery’,he regards himself as an outsider’ – hence the book’s subtitle. Admirers of Mda’s fiction will enjoy getting to know more about the man....

Title : Sometimes there is a Void – Memoirs of an Outsider
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780143527442
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 559 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sometimes there is a Void – Memoirs of an Outsider Reviews

  • Scott Schneider
    2018-12-04 11:23

    Reading this book made me realize how little I know about African literature. It made me want to read more of Mda's books. This autobiography is part personal journey, detailing all the drinking, carousing and women in his life. Part of it is political evolution and the anti-apartheid movement, which his father played a more central role than he did, though there are some fascinating scenes with Mandala. The third part is cultural, showing the cultural richness of Africa. It's funny how Africans are so aware of American culture, like how into American jazz they were (and all the jazz musicians that went there to perform) and when he came to America and lived in a small rural town in Ohio he was amazed there was no jazz. The saddest part was about his marriage to Adele, his second wife. It was a grueling affair. I enjoyed this book. The thread he uses to hold it together is a bee keeping collective he started on his grandfather's land. That appears to be his legacy as much as his art and writing.

  • Mish Middelmann
    2018-12-18 11:20

    Long and rambling, full of disarming honesty. Disappointing to one who loves his novels. Disappointing in the sense that he radically demystifies himself, not pulling punches in describing his own long periods of despair, drinking and womanising - firmly taking himself off the hero's pedestal. Perhaps more disappointing in that the book feels like a rough draft - too long, and ending in the midst of a rave about a messy divorce the story of which would have benefited from the perspective of time.Nonetheless worth reading: a real insight into the tough lives of political exiles in Lesotho, and disarming in his openness about the way he lives his life, while holding onto some important principles of honesty and kindness even as these are visibly shaken along the way.

  • Carolien
    2018-12-09 17:11

    This is a beautifully written book which spans the past 60 years of South Africa (and Lesotho's) history as experienced by the writer and artist Zakes Mda. His family was deeply involved in the struggle against apartheid - his father was a founding member of the PAC and ANCYL and they went to live in exile in Leotho in the early 1960's.He has been very involved in the cultural and arts world in Lesotho and South Africa during the years and his plays are performed across the world.

  • Slagusha
    2018-12-04 17:18

    Zanemvula Kizito Gatyeni Mda is a very vivid and meticulous writer who brings the reader to his world and I cant wait to get home to read the next chapter. Now I’m interested to read more of his work.

  • Siyamthanda Skota
    2018-12-14 11:05

    Worth a 10 Star rating!

  • Yonnique
    2018-12-04 13:16

    I really enjoyed the book from Chapter 5 onwards. The ending was a little abrupt. He has had an interesting life so far, which makes for an enjoyable read.

  • Catherine Woodman
    2018-12-13 15:24

    The subtitle of this memoir is "Memoirs of an Outsider", and at the end of the day, I am not exactly sure what he is referring to. The obvious answer might be that due to his father's political activities he grew up outside of South Africa in neighboring Lesotho. His is a typical African family with a complicated web of inter-relationships, but despite that Mda felt like he had been abandoned by his father, or at least he was not loved enough by him. That might be the outsider status that he refers to.Mda does not candy coat his story--nor does he really focus on some of the things that would be helpful to have a first hand account of. Throughout the first half of the book, while South Africa is living under apartheid, there is very little detail about the effect that had on his life--and perhaps living in exile it did not have much of an impact, but he does write about people participating in armed rebellions, brothers being killed by compatriots, things that seem like a big deal, but instead Mda focuses on his personal life and his lack of ability to be a good partner with a woman.The memoir is messy, as one reviewer tells it. It is really about him and not the time he lived in. There is very little background in this memoir, and at times I felt like he was using his access to a literary vehicle to make a case that his ex-wife was entirely mean spirited and he was blameless--well, a memoir does allow you to tell your side of the story, but ideally it is a story that others want to hear, and that was not the case for me. I think you have to read his fiction to hear his thoughts on the political landscape of Africa.

  • Diane Brown
    2018-12-04 10:28

    I love to read memoirs and this one intrigued me and did not disappoint me at all. It sure does explain the man behind the writing. He writes about his life, links this to political situation at the time in Lesotho and in South Africa as his father is one of the founders of the PAC. I do really like the thinking and perspective in this book, because it resonates with me on both a personal and political level.HE also speaks about his life in Ohio as a Professor there. This book is an important read because it adds to our experiences of history as told from an African perspective (which I crave more and more). It is a frank and very personal perspective (as I think memoirs should be) and raises the curtain behind the author and man - Zakes Mda.I identify fully with his overall issue about being "outsider" and what it means in SA.

  • Michelle Commeyras
    2018-11-26 17:05

    Zakes comes across as very open about his life, his foibles, his talents, his loves, his losses. In reading his memoir I liked him and wondered why I was unaware of his writing. He's a playwright and novelist. He admits to drawing heavily from his own life experiences. I particularly appreciated his account of living in two different his home country of South Africa and the other his adopted home of Athens, Ohio where he is on the faculty of Ohio University.

  • Sinovuyo Sidimba
    2018-11-25 16:31

    Excellent read!!

  • Fela
    2018-11-27 17:28

    Though dominated by his battles with his ex-wife, this memoir is a very intriquing read from Zakes Mda. I was however let down by the writing, definitely not his best work but still recommended.

  • Bongani
    2018-12-10 11:13

    This is the best memoir I have read. Bra Zakes is simply a brilliant story teller.