Paperback ISBN: 9781921462801
This beautifully written and evocative memoir is a fascinating insight into the lives of her family, living under apartheid, who struggled to create a sense of identity and personal worth. It’s a book of historical relevance in its revelations about resistance to Apartheid by South Africans of mixed race; and it is also a book of social relevance to the debate on racism today, in Australia, South Africa, and elsewhere in the world.
Marion van Dyk’s absorbing memoir submerges the reader in the world of South Africa in the 1950s through to the 1980s. Classified as a ‘coloured’ (being neither black nor white) by an apartheid government, she and her family are forced to live as second-class citizens, caught between two worlds. Marion and her family struggle to make ends meet after they are forced to leave their family home when their area is redesignated for whites only.
After relocating to a small ‘coloured’ township, Marion attends a school where, despite severe restrictions, her teachers fight tooth and nail to give her an education. She becomes head of a computer programming department, breaking through racial and gender barriers in the process, before emigrating to Australia with her husband and son.
Marion van Dyk was a finalist in the 2012 Finch Memoir Prize for this, her first book, the memoir Under the Skin.