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My Children! My Africa! Paperback – January 6, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Samuel French, Inc. (January 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0573691932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0573691935
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 8 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #381,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The New Yorker has said of Athol Fugard, "A rare playwright, who could be a primary candidate for either the Nobel Prize in Literature or the Nobel Peace Prize." His major works for the stage include: Blood Knot; "Master Harold"...and the boys; My Children! My Africa!; A Lesson from Aloes; The Road to Mecca; Valley Song; and The Captain's Tiger.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Athol Fugard was born in 1932 in Middelburg, in the Karoo desert region of South Africa. He has written more than thirty plays, four books and several screenplays. His plays include Blood Knot (1961), Boesman and Lena (1969), "Master Harold" . . . and the boys (1982), The Road to Mecca (1984) and My Children! My Africa! (1989). Many of his works were turned into films: Tsotsi, based on his 1980 novel, won the 2005 Academy Award for best foreign language film. His work spans the period of apartheid in South Africa (imposed in 1948), through the first democratic elections (April 27, 1994), when Nelson Mandela became president, and into present-day post-apartheid South Africa. One of the most performed playwrights in the world, and South Africa's best-known playwright, at eighty-one, Fugard continues to direct and write plays. Although he still travels regularly, as of 2013, he regards his house in the Karoo village of Nieu Bethesda, South Africa, as his permanent home.

Customer Reviews

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Holly A. Lenz on June 5, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In My Chindren! My Africa!, Fugard tells the story of a white South African girl who becomes involved in debates with a black South African boy and his teacher, but as the racial tension increases, tragedy becomes inevetable. Fugard tells a powerful story which not only addresses the racially charged South Africa he is from, but race relations and the need to realize the differences between people of race are only skin deep.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Gansky on September 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
My Children! My Africa! was the first book I've read ever to make me cry--so much towards the end that I had to put it down. It is the touching tale of a white South African girl who befriends a black South African boy and his teacher, amidst a time of strong racial tension. Their teacher helps them to learn that even though others may be at war, they still have the chance to pave the road to a new, better Africa. Fugard's best play ever!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Schmidt on November 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
"My Children! My Africa!" is a flawed, yet powerful play first performed in 1989 in South Africa. Fugard is a talented playwright, but his assumptions are somewhat off.

The text centers around three characters set in "State of Emergency" 1984 South Africa. Isabel, a white, precocious Afrikaner; Thami, a black, independent African; and Mr. M, the teacher, caught in the middle of events not so out of their control. The story is somewhat about reconciliation and the power of education and discipline. Yet, things fall apart as Thami rebels in his mind against the Bantu education and the Western teachings (taught to him by his teacher Mr. M). In the end, all three pay the price for their friendship, but that is not the most of it.

In all honesty, the play taken with a grain of salt is moving and I felt my chest tighten and my heart race as Fugard effortlessly moves the reader through this trying time. But upon reflection, problems begin to emerge.

One is the assumptions are raised. Fugard is obviously anti-apartheid, but does the future of South Africa, as he was predicting in 1989, lay with those like Thami or those like Isabel. Thami, who begins to be swept away by the movements in Southern Africa (notably Angola, Zimbabwe and Mozambique) is given a negative aura by Fugard, as if he lets his emotions rule his better reasoning, exemplified by Mr. M. As one critic points out, Fugard, in the end, voices the beliefs of the white, middle class South Africa through characters like Isabel and Mr. M. The violence, which is "inevitably" what Thami will adopt, will only hurt South Africa's future after apartheid even more.

The other is the historical inaccuracies. The book was written in 1989, but set in 1984.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Aco on October 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
Here is a painful play about the hope of a country and it's people falling by the wayside under the mad rush of anger and rage and frustration.

There are only three characters here: Mr. M, a black teacher in Brakwater, called "the location," the black town outside the white town of Camdeboo. Thami, also black, is a leading young student, and protege of Mr. M. And Isabel, a white girl Thami's age, who befriends both of them after an interschool debate.

Together the three of them agree to prepare for a competition which may represent the best and brightest of a new generation of South Africans. One that is marked by a union between blacks and whites, in the spirit of education, knowledge and words. Such is the hope. But the hope ultimately gives way to the heart wrenching evil of apartheid as it cuts the three apart. Mr. M and Thami diverge about how to fight apartheid and Isabel struggles as her new friendships crack, and spirits wane.

Painful. Spiritually uplifting, then crushing. Eye opening.
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By Amazon Customer on November 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
With its three players, South African playwright Fugard has captured the pulse of the issues surrounding the difficulties of change and inequality.
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