We all did it at school: groping our way through an oral on an Afrikaans novel we hadn’t read. Some of us where quite good, holding up our unopened copy of a morbid rural melodrama called something like Die Lang Verdrietige Dors Van Wimpie Die Wesie, explaining that it was a “baie goeie boek” and “die windpomp is ’n simbool van die liefde” and “die tema van die dood maak dit universeel”.

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