The Texture of Shadows
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.
NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS
The novel explores the life of ANC soldiers in exile and their return to South Africa shortly before Mandela’s release. Few people really know what went on in the struggle in South Africa between apartheid government forces and the ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto weSizwe (MK). In The Texture of Shadows, Mandla Langa addresses this ignorance, and tells the inside story of MK soldiers.