Setting his story in biblical times, with a contemplative style and archaic vocabulary that dramatically sharpens the novel’s general picture, the author revisits the worn-out pattern of the Nativity tale to challenge the mystery of the Immaculate Conception. Between the lines of his daring plot, Mgqolozana also succeeds in raising unexpectedly modern issues such as the place of women in society.
If titles sold books, this 2009 offering would be a bestseller. Thando Mgqolozana, a nursing graduate, writes about the scourge of circumcisions gone wrong with the authority of someone close to the action. The Eastern Cape, his birthplace, is notorious for this practice, year after bleeding year.