This isn’t going to be an elaborate entry but I wanted to mention that I finished Dominique La Pierre’s A Rainbow in the Night: the Tumultuous Birth of South Africa.
I found the first 150 pages gripping, but as the 20th Century dawned it seemed like a shift happened in La Pierre’s storytelling. I don’t think that is the case, but that is how my brain perceived it.
La Pierre tells his story by choosing significant figures in South African history and using their story to build a national story. The tale seems to build and reflect on apartheid, whereas the title seems broader than the interior content.
My knowledge is somewhat limited on South Africa and I thought La Pierre’s easy style would give me a quick basic review of key items in South African history, and it did. I guess it brings up the question of how does an author or scholar deal with a topic that is heavily overshadowed by something distasteful or tragic?
Now I’m on to a book about war in Somalia, the Sudan and Rwanda so I don’t expect anything uplifting soon…