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A Man Who Is Not a Man
by Thando Mgqolozana

    Publication Date:
    List Price: $15.95
    Format: Paperback, 256 pages
    Classification: Fiction
    ISBN13: 9781913175023
    Imprint: Cassava Republic Press
    Publisher: Cassava Republic Press
    Parent Company: Cassava Republic Press
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    Book Description:

    “His straightforward no-frills prose tells an effective story of a botched circumcision and its consequences.” —Zakes Mda, Sunday Independent

    A Man Who is Not a Man is an evocative story about a young Xhosa man’s trauma and lifelong shame after a rite-of-passage circumcision goes wrong. This botched circumcision is framed as a personal failure, stripping young Lumkile of his humanity, social support system, and labelling him “a failed man.” This powerful coming of age novel follows Lumkile’s journey into manhood, from petty theft and violence in Cape Town, to education and first love in the village, and finally to the harrowing isolation of a mountain hut. With language that moves from raunchy and comical, to tender and earnest, A Man Who is Not a Man challenges the code of silent suffering expected of men, and provides a subversive depiction of masculinity, in all its varied forms.

    Important Themes

    • A Man Who is Not a Man provides a language to talk about issues of male sexuality and masculinity (and its physical, mental and emotional demands)
    • A timely and urgent read, this novel joins a growing body of contemporary works attempting to pull the covers open and redefine masculinity.
    • Set within South Africa’s Xhosa community, this is a local novel with big and universal themes: the confusion of boyhood, trauma, truancy, love, male tenderness and the making of men through violence.
    • A coming-of-age novel that will appeal to adult and YA readers alike, with its exploration of the confusion and metamorphosis that is adolescence, as well as the challenges that face at-risk youth.
    • Originally published in South Africa, A Man Who is Not a Man has gained widespread critical acclaim and has served as an inspiration for the Oscar-shortlisted film Inxeba (The Wound).


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