The Madonna of Excelsior

  • by Zakes Mda
  • Narrated by Robin Miles
  • 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1971, 19 citizens of Excelsior, a farming community in South Africa’s rural Free States, were charged with breaking apartheid’s Immorality Act, which forbade sexual relations between blacks and whites on the pretext of avoiding miscegenation. The women were jailed as they awaited trial and their white counterparts were released on bail. In the end, the state withdrew the charges, but the accused women’s lives, already complicated, became harder than ever. Mda tells the story of a family at the heart of the scandal, revealing a country in which apartheid, even as it sought to keep the races apart, concealed interracial liaisons of every kind.
Niki, the fallen Madonna, transgresses boundaries for the sake of love; her choices have profound repercussions in the lives of her black son, Viliki, and her mixed-race daughter, Popi, who come of age in the years after the end of apartheid, when freedom allows them - indeed compels them - to figure out their racial identities for themselves. As the story advances to the present, the mixed society of Excelsior comes to suggest South Africa today, a society far more complex - and more dramatic - than conventional notions of black and white will allow.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Pathetic Performance

This book must be reproduced as an audio book. It's read with a wrong accent and bad pronunciation. Words like Thaba Nchu, are read as Thaba Ncu or Nxu, I think we have been taken for granted as listeners or readers.

Poppie is also pronounced badly as well, the fact that it's read wrongly over a hundred times is disappointing if not offensive. Pule is pronounced as Phule. Welkom is pronounced as Welkom instead of Velkom. Slaghuise is also pronounced terribly wrong, like there's a w somewhere in the mix.

At one point even the word surprised is also mispronounced, how pathetic. I should have stopped reading as soon as I reached chapter 17, but I forced myself listen till the end. Even the derogatory word boesman is fudged. I'd take offense if I was an author of this book. I'm disappointed at this Pathetic performance, I wouldn't blame the reader, she did her best but those who employed her should have known.
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- Kgotso

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-29-2011
  • Publisher: Recorded Books