Khwezi: The remarkable story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo by Redi Tlhabi

36242923– My real names, dear. Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo. –

– In a way, the rape of some women and children in exile debunks the heroic narrative of the struggle. It also debunks dominant patters of self-glorification. The ruling party has, largely, been in denial about this, choosing instead a narrative that speaks only of the heroism and sacrifices of so many gallant comrades – a narrative that is true, but incomplete. –

–It has probably become more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in armed conflict. –

– Society should do its own introspection and ask why it was, and is, eager to accept the version of a man who can state, in a court of law, that he has consensual sex with a child. Our societal mores have enabled this.
It is shameful. –

– The rules of the cultural beliefs that Zuma claims to hold dear dictate that your friends’ children are your children. –

Publisher’s Link


House of Spies (Gabriel Allon #17) by Daniel Silva

34120187– “The enemy is determined,” he declared, “but so are we.” –

– A few terrorism analysts expressed surprise over the fact that the statement made no mention of anyone named Saladin. The savvier ones did not. Saladin, they said, was a master. And like many masters, he preferred to leave his work unsigned. –

– Mainly, he wondered how Chiara managed to care for the children alone, day after day, without collapsing with exhaustion or losing her mind. Running one of the world’s most formidable intelligence services suddenly seemed a rather trivial pursuit by comparison. –

– The Jewish people had drained the malarial swamps, watered the deserts, and prevailed in three existential conflicts against an enemy far greater in number. And yet a Palestinian with a pack of matches could bring the northwest corner of the country to a standstill and threaten its third-largest city. –

– The notion that a modern England might not be a cultural paradise appeared to come as a shock to Brady Boswell. He was one of those Americans who formed their impressions of life in the United Kingdom by watching reruns of Masterpiece Theater. –

Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student and the Life-Changing Power of Books by Michelle Kuo

35652747.jpg– You want to believe that you do not at all resemble what you see. You want to believe that your town’s decay is not a mirror of your own prospects, that its dirtiness cannot dirty your inner life, that its emptiness does not contradict your own ambitions – that in fact you were born linked to beauty, to the joyous power of resurrection. –

– He stretched his neck, making a loud crack, and I realized how hard writing could really be. Physically, it changed you. You forgot to breathe. Your hand hurt. Your shoulders were sore. –

– In 2006, in a majority black area, where cotton production and slaveholding had once skyrocketed in tandem, one of the city’s rare public spaces still memoralized the Confederate cause. –

– [My parents] didn’t read to me, because they were afraid I would adopt their accents. They cared so little for their own histories that they didn’t make me learn their native tongue. For them the price of immigration had always been that their children would discount them in these ways. –

– Most public debate about the plea bargain has focused on urban areas. But its effect on the rural South was, and is, disastrous. –

A Manual for Heartache by Cathy Rentzenbrink

27202332.jpg– Perhaps heartbreak is what happens on impact, and heartache is what we are left with as time passes, once the dust settles, when we are able to look up and around us but are still shrouded in sadness. –

– I wrote this for myself, but also for you, so that even as your heart breaks and aches, and you can’t imagine how you will ever feel better, you can know you are not alone. –

– Life will never be the same again. The old one is gone and you can’t have it back. What you might at some point be able to encourage yourself to do, and time will be an ally in this, is work out how to adjust to your new world. You can patch up your raggedy heart and start thinking and feeling your way towards how you want to live. –

– [On “Everything happens for a reason”] I’m not a violent person but being told this has always made me want to punch people in the face. It’s an attempt to mould other people’s distress into a belief system. If there is ever a time to seek meaning in tragedy – and I’m not sure there is – it certainly isn’t in the immediate aftermath. –

– It has taken me over twenty years of getting depressed to realize that, for me, depression is a process of disintegration and reconstruction. My jigsaw scatters across the floor and the, eventually, I build myself anew. –

A Jihad for Love by Mohamed El Bachiri,

35050701.jpg– By writing about love, I come closer to your shining face. –

– Just consider me a dead man.
A dead man giving a lesson in life. –

– I’m a Muslim, first of all by birth, then by conviction.

I inherited Islam. –

– Life no longer tastes the same to me, but the setting sun is still glorious. –

His TedX Talk, English translation in the comments

Review for the Sunday Times:

Reflecting Rogue: Inside the Mind of a Feminist by Pumla Dineo Gqola

36027344– I write because it is the only way to fully be me. –

– The very act of rape is only conceivable as “artistic” when it is doubly mythologised: in the insistence that it be read exclusively as metaphor and in its distancing of the rapist into non-human form. –

– Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela [:] “[w]hat kind of uhuru is it if the exercise of the right to stand up means that we are exposing ourselves to potential abuse?” –

– To be a literary woman is to wade through the supposedly well-meaning cautionary words – be careful, do not dream too ambitiously, there are not enough readers, there isn’t enough time, the work is thankless – words laced with less well-intentional doubt and sometimes sabotage. –

– To be an African feminist writing, rioting woman on the continent is to be engaged in constant self-defence against erasure of an African feminist tradition, to begin anew, to be invited to refer to first / second / third waves which obscure and deny the long presences of African feminist movements and imagination. –

– She cautioned against praising [her husband] for being a good father for doing what is taken for granted when mothers do it. She was not questioning how good a father he was. She was reminding all of us that we normalise good, full-time parenting by treating it as normal. –


Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John

27214023.jpg– I have learned to tell lies to escape bad memories that come from telling my stories. –

– I hate it when a dictionary defines one word with another word I do not know. –

– Sometimes you do something and it is only after that you think of the why. Sometimes there is no why. –

– When our women and children can’t read and write, is this supposed to help them take over Nigeria? –

– ‘Were you wondering what the moral of the story was?’ he asks, turning around.
‘Yes, Sheikh,’ I reply.
‘There is no moral. I just felt like telling you a story.’ –

The Seagull (Vera Stanhope #8) by Ann Cleeves

35963210.jpg– Sometimes it felt as if her whole life had been spent in the half-light; in her dreams, she was moonlit, neon-lit or she floated through the first gleam of dawn. Night was still the time when she felt most awake. –

– Vera was restless. She couldn’t sit still and she’d never seen the point of walking around outsidejust for the sake of it; she watched the hikers with their boots and walking poles who strode past her cottage and thought they must be mad. –

– Seagull? What’s a seagull? There are herring gulls, black-headed gulls, common gulls. But there’s no such species as a seagull. –

– It seemed a sort of magic: all this information from a heap of bones. –

– I do like a sense of humour in a villain. –

Bad Seeds (Jade de Jong #5) by Jassy Mackenzie

35658635.jpg– The lobby must have been redecorated in the eighties, and the receptionist Looked like she was about to audition for the Rocky Horror Picture Show. –

– Humans are like rats. You can’t keep them out of anywhere they really want to be. –

– Diet and exercise sounded like foreign words. South Africa might have eleven official languages, but this was a twelfth, and she was reluctant to learn it.

– There won’t be transparency. There never, ever has been with nuclear energy in South Africa. The apartheid mentality is still alive and well in that regard. It’s secretive, it’s corrupt and it’s not going to provide the benefits we need. –

Review for Sunday Times:

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt

35914169.jpg– We are inescapably physical, drawn to the inescapably human. But if we are defined by our own bodies, we are entwined by the bodies of others. –

– Suspecting Gwen was male at birth, these men cornered her at the October 3 party, stripped her naked, strangled her with a rope, and beat her skull with a frying pan. Her last words were, “Please don’t. I have a family.” –

– The student’s mother said, “Saying a lunch box is a trigger for bullying is like saying a short skirt is a trigger for rape. –

– A friend “kindly” suggested the perhaps Nicole was transgender because her parents had given her dolls at such a young age.

“Are you kidding?” Kelly asked. “So what you’re saying is, every man is just one doll away from being a woman?” –

– She didn’t want a genderless society; she just wanted to be recognized for the gender she knew she was, the one that allowed her to have all the same experiences of being female that other teens girls enjoyed. No one could argue that equal rights for all religions would result in a religionless society. It was about the law, and the law should be blind to differences when it comes to handing out rights and privileges. –

– Bodies hold our stories. They connect us to the world because they are the instruments by which we experience the world. Nicole finally needed to make that connection right. –

Washington Post Excerpt