Last month, Oxford University Press Southern Africa released Kagiso Lesego Molope’s new young adult novel, This Book Betrays My Brother, to coincide with the celebration of Women’s Month.
The book looks at issues of gender equality in South Africa, including sexual violence.
To coincide with Women’s Month celebrations in South Africa, writer and human rights advocate Kagiso Lesego Molope has published a poignant new youth novel, This Book Betrays My Brother, with publisher Oxford University Press Southern Africa.
Set in the shifting South African landscape of the mid-1990’s, the book delves into black middle-class life through the eyes of teenager Naledi, the narrator and protagonist. The story explores the bonds between Naledi and her charming and outgoing brother, Basi, whom she admires and who is adored by the rest of his family and community. After she unexpectedly witnesses him committing a crime, she is burdened with a choice between sibling loyalty and breaking the silence on sexual violence.
This Book Betrays My Brother broaches many gender equality issues that are still prevalent in South Africa today, amongst them the perception that women who wear revealing clothing invite sexual advances, and that lesbianism is an affliction to be “cured” by corrective rape. It also explores the power struggles that victims of sexual violence face when the perpetrator comes from a privileged background.
Of her latest novel, Molope states, “I’ve worked on issues of violence against women for many years, both with organisations and in documentary-making. I wanted to write about sexual violence from a very fresh perspective, as I feel that we’ve used one line – empowering girls – which in my opinion can only get us so far. I wanted to turn things around: have people ask questions about how far our sense of loyalty will go, who we’re supposed to be loyal to, and how we are raising our sons. Events and conversations in South Africa inspired this book tremendously.”
This Book Betrays My Brother is now available at leading bookshops at a recommended retail price of R99.95.