Un-put-down-able…one of those one-off unpredictable things … an absolute masterwork.
The relationship between truth and art in this novel is fascinating. Hassim’s marvellous, engrossing work held me from chapter to chapter, fuelling my interest in meta-fiction and the role of the writer as a historian.
An award-winning literary epic that tells the tale of three generations of South African Indians. We are taken into the labyrinthine world of Durban’s Grey Street, as important in the literary-political imagination of South Africa as Soweto or District Six.
― Mail & Guardian
Trim size: 230 x 150mm
Page count: 528 pages
Genre: Historical fiction
Date of publication: August 2003
Hassim’s debut novel represents not only one family’s journey from India to South Africa, but also a valuable source of information about the experiences, struggles, feelings and thoughts of the SA Indian community – a history from the inside. This masterpiece of realism is set in Durban’s Casbah, with its underworld of gangsters, political activists, merchants, and the everyday struggle of poor urban life. The language is beautifully nuanced and richly poetic. It blends history, fiction, romance, politics and the idiom of the street in a potent manner.