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Percy Zvomuya and Percy Mabandu Review Way Back Home by Niq Mhlongo

Way Back HomeVerdict: both carrots

Whatever weaknesses inhibit Way Back Home, the latest novel by Niq Mhlongo, they are tempered by this being the first novel I have read by a South African of his generation (he was born in 1973) that tries to deal with the legacy of exile.

This novel follows his debut, Dog Eat Dog, and After Tears. It features a bunch of actors from what is known, in an Orwellian phrase, as “The Movement”. They have graduated from being guerillas in Angola and Tanzania to black economic empowerment fat cats and government bureaucrats.

Niq Mhlongo’s Way Back Home is his third novel, and it takes a more mature and long-term view of the past’s impact on our present.

His two earlier books, Dog Eat Dog and After Tears, focused more strongly on the struggles of the youth in post-apartheid SA, and his early work saw Mhlongo being dubbed kwaito’s answer to local literature.

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