Fools and other stories by Njabulo S. Ndebele
Pan Macmillan South Africa, 01 September 2006
Soft cover, 320 pages
Fools, the title story in this collection, is a tale of generations in the struggle against oppression. Zamani is a middle-aged teacher who was once respected by the community as a leader of the future. Then he disgraced himself, and now he's haunted by the impotence of his present life. A chance meeting brings him up against Zani, a young student activist whose attempts to kindle the flames of resistance in Charterston Location are ludicrously impractical. Both affection and hostility bind Zamani and Zani together in an intense and unpredictable relationship. Finding each other means finding the common ground of their struggle. It also means reexamining their lives - and, notably, their relationship s with women.'The Test', 'The Prophetess', and 'The Music of the Violin' all deal with formative experiences in a township childhood: an act of courage and endurance; a close encounter with an awe-inspiring old woman; a choice which must be made between the narrow ambitions of middle-class parents and the challenge of the township streets, at once more inviting and more dangerous.'Uncle' celebrates the gift of one generation to another: a gift that mingles music with other adventures of the spirit, recklessness with resourcefulness, and laughter with wisdom.