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Publisher Description

In her influential reflection on the work of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Country of My Skull (1997), Anjtie Krog cites psychologist Nomfundo Walaza's lament about the reaction of White South Africans to the commission. In a private conversation with Krog, Walaza asserted: Walaza's despair was shared by many Black South Africans, some of whom eventually came to believe that that the TRC could never serve any useful purpose. (1) She was especially frustrated by the "privatising of feelings" by White people because it occurred at the very moment when Black people had started to tell their stories freely and frankly. In fact, as she saw it, in the setting of the TRC, White South Africa may have had the ideal forum for the dialogue it would need to have with Black South Africa. For her part, reacting as a White South African who believes herself willing to revisit the past often and honestly, Krog is especially troubled by the fact that Walaza implies that so little has changed in this "changed" nation. She is especially uneasy at the apparent hopelessness of the racial equation in the New South Africa. Interestingly, Krog's fear of Walaza's assessment actually echoes a view expressed decades earlier by one South Africa's iconic White liberals, Alan Paton. In Paton's Cry, The Beloved Country (1949), Father Msimangu, he "who had no hate for any man", states: "I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they [White people] turn to living they will find that we are turned to hating" (252).

Professional & Technical
October 1
University of Calgary, Department of English

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