Country of My Skull
Ever since Nelson Mandela dramatically walked out of prison in 1990 after twenty-seven years behind bars, South Africa has been undergoing a radical transformation. In one of the most miraculous events of the century, the oppressive system of apartheid was dismantled. But how could this country - one of spectacular beauty and promise - come to terms with its ugly past? How could its people, whom the oppressive white government had pitted against one another, live side by side as friends and neighbors? To begin the healing process, Nelson Mandela created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, headed by the renowned cleric Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Established in 1995, the commission faced the awesome task of hearing the testimony of the victims of apartheid as well as the oppressors. In this book, Antjie Krog, a South African journalist and poet who has covered the work of the commission, recounts the drama, the horrors, the wrenching personal stories of the victims and their families. Through the testimonies of victims of abuse and violence, from the appearance of Winnie Mandela to former South African president P.W. Botha's extraordinary courthouse press conference, this award-winning poet leads us on an amazing journey.
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On the insistence of Archbishop Tutu , the Commissioners gather at the end of January 1996 for a retreat under the guidance of Father Francis Cull , Tutu's personal spiritual adviser . What lies ahead is a very difficult task .
To assimilate truth piece by piece The Commissioner spreads the photos on the table . A slope of tamboekie grass , a wind ... The Commissioner's eyes are purified in the brilliant yellow of anger . It is he who said : sometimes at night ...
The Commissioners travel back with us on the boat . I pick them out one by one , as they sit with the wind and sea spray in their faces . I want to remember them like this . Was it really that easy to come to the decision ?
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryCin - LibraryThing
2.5 stars Shortly after Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Committee was formed to listen to victims and perpetrators of apartheid. If perpetrators applied ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - patrickgarson - LibraryThing
Country of My Skull is an astonishing book. Krog's attempt to embrace, explicate, and bear witness to South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission is complicated, creative, flawed, distressing ... Read full review
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