Shawn Slovo remembers how her Jewish parents, African National Congress activists, left home in the middle of the night to attend secret meetings. All the while, she said, she resented "having to share my parents with a cause much greater than myself."
Tony Eprile opens up the complex terrain of a changing South Africa in "The Persistence of Memory."
This is an ambitious novel, a novel of many ideas. Eprile is a gifted storyteller who delves into the inner life and family, and also politics, social commentary and warfare. The literary thread that links these different kinds of stories -- whether accounts of sensual meals, embarrassing school episodes or brutal battles -- and propels the narrative is suggested by the title: the way that memory, the act of remembering, shapes life and history.
South Africa's main Jewish group is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and concerns about the community's future -- as well as its past -- are dominating the organization's efforts.