Rhodes University Unit for the Humanities (UHURU) is pleased to announce that Mandla Langa’s acclaimed new novel, The Texture of Shadows, will be launched in Grahamstown at Barrett Lecture Theatre 1 at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday 5th of March.
Mandla Langa will be introduced by Mwelela Cele from the Steve Biko Centre and Siphokazi Magadla from the Rhodes Politics Department will be the discussant.
It is 1989, a high point of hope in South Africa’s political history. The nation is abuzz with rumours of Nelson Mandela’s imminent release, the dismantling of guerrilla camps and the possibility of peace.
A band of exiled People’s Army soldiers returns to South Africa. After years in Angola they think the change they have been fighting for is finally about to become a reality. They have been ordered to carry and deliver a sealed trunk to an unspecified destination. It is a mission that makes them a target as different parties set out to separate the men from the trunk and its mysterious contents, setting the stage for several fierce conflicts.
The Texture of Shadows explores a world of hardened guerrilla fighters, corrupt police officers, ex-political prisoners and the victims of abuse of a system of bannings and beatings. But there are also cracks in this steel-edged world that hope, love and beauty can fill as the reader is swept up in the story of Chaplain Nerissa Rodrigues and her fellow soldiers.
‘The Texture of Shadows is an astonishingly brave book. It strips the South African freedom struggle of the usual sentimental pieties and pares it down to bare essentials: love, lies and lost illusions.’ – CHRISTOPHER HOPE, author of Shooting Angels, Kruger’s Alp and White Boy Running.