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Author: Cato Pedder

Type: Paperback

ISBN: 9781399810807

Date: 25th April, 2024

Publisher: JOHN MURRAY

  1. Categories

  2. History
  3. Biography: General


Moederland is a courageous and modern appraisal of what it means to be descended from the people who created the ultraracist apartheid system in South Africa. Illuminating its turbulent history through the lives of her female ancestors, it is a history of South Africa like no other, told from the perspective of women long silenced in the historical narrative. It asks, what were they doing while white supremacy was constructed? In Moederland, Cato Pedder travels the centuries from the 1600s, when Cape Town was a remote outpost of the Dutch East India Company, to the kraal of a Zulu king in the 1800s before doubling back to Europe and then culminating with the English Quaker aunt who defies apartheid to marry across the colour line. As anti-racist campaigners call out the statue of Jan Smuts in Parliament Square, Cato painstakingly excavates the long-forgotten life stories of the women of her prehistory, unpacking the legacy of her Afrikaans heritage and bringing their collective shame into the light. Moederland brilliantly sits at the borderline between personal history and memoir and shares themes with The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal, The Wife's Tale by Aida Edemariam and Maybe Esthe r by Katja Petrowskaja, both of which use unknown forebears to throw new light on the troubled past. It will also appeal to readers of Damon Galgut's Booker Prize winning novel, The Promise .

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