At a time when racial identity is hardening in some communities and lies are being spread abroad about a racial genocide, it is a delight to encounter two brilliant writers who, like millions of South Africans, hold multiple identities and have shed some with the force of their will. Power FM presenter Iman Rappetti paints potent pictures of her past with brutal honesty and sweet affection as she reflects on the forces that shaped her. Her "wounding years" came at the start of her life, when she lived with her family in an outbuilding in Reservoir Hills, Durban, following her father’s excommunication from his wealthy family as punishment for marrying a coloured woman. Her grandmother, who complained constantly about Rappetti’s unruly curly hair, called her Venesha. Her eldest brother, Anthony, known as Prakash by the Indian half of the family, was left behind when Rappetti (a home affairs official misspelled Rapiti) moved with the rest of her family to Phoenix. She was known to all ...

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