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Portrait with Keys: The City of Johannesburg Unlocked

by

Portrait with Keys: The City of Johannesburg Unlocked Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This dazzling portrait of Johannesburg is one of the most haunting, poetic pieces of reportage about a metropolis since Suketu Mehta's . Through precisely crafted snapshots, Ivan Vladislavic observes the unpredictable, day-today transformation of his embattled city: the homeless using manholes as cupboards, a public statue slowly cannibalized for scrap. Most poignantly he charts the small, devastating changes along the postapartheid streets: walls grow higher, neighborhoods are gated off, the keys multiply. Security--insecurity?--is the growth industry. Vladislavic, described as "one of the most imaginative minds at work in South African literature today" (André Brink), delivers "one of the best things ever written about a great, if schizophrenic, city, and an utterly true picture of the new South Africa" (Christopher Hope).

Review:

"In a post-apartheid world, the city of Johannesburg is a complicated place: racial divides still run deep, inextricably interwoven with crime and poverty, and endlessly complicated as the haves and have-nots negotiate new arrangements defined in terms of protection, invasion, and a tenuous level of common feeling. Novelist and Johannesburg resident Vladislavic recounts his day-to-day experiences and examines them from a step removed, watching as his city grows more obsessed with security: walls grow higher, neighbors more suspicious, private security forces more prevalent (hired even for middle class dinner parties). Vladislavic is exploring revolutionary ground, providing one of the most detailed looks yet at the post-apartheid city, helping define it as he ventures through it. Vladislavic can ramble, but does so with humor and care, while offering much insight on class and race relations, and urban survival in general; neither does he resort to overheated righteousness. While a certain amount of fluency in South African culture may be necessary to fully appreciate it, this book with intrigue any reader with its intense, you-are-there depiction of a city in flux." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

"Surely one of the most ingenious love letters--full of violence, fear, humour, and cunning--ever addressed to a city." --Geoff Dyer

About the Author

Born in Pretoria in 1957, Ivan Vladislavic has published five works of fiction. Portrait with Keys was shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize and won the Alan Paton, South Africa's major nonfiction award. He lives in Johannesburg.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393335408
Author:
Vladislavic, Ivan
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Social change
Subject:
Travel
Subject:
Africa - South - Republic of South Africa
Subject:
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Subject:
Africa - General
Subject:
TRAVEL / Africa
Copyright:
Publication Date:
April 2009
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8.00x5.40x.60 in. .35 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Africa » South Africa
History and Social Science » World History » Africa
Travel » Africa » General
Travel » Travel Writing » Africa and Middle East
Travel » Travel Writing » General

Portrait with Keys: The City of Johannesburg Unlocked New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.50 In Stock
Product details 208 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393335408 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In a post-apartheid world, the city of Johannesburg is a complicated place: racial divides still run deep, inextricably interwoven with crime and poverty, and endlessly complicated as the haves and have-nots negotiate new arrangements defined in terms of protection, invasion, and a tenuous level of common feeling. Novelist and Johannesburg resident Vladislavic recounts his day-to-day experiences and examines them from a step removed, watching as his city grows more obsessed with security: walls grow higher, neighbors more suspicious, private security forces more prevalent (hired even for middle class dinner parties). Vladislavic is exploring revolutionary ground, providing one of the most detailed looks yet at the post-apartheid city, helping define it as he ventures through it. Vladislavic can ramble, but does so with humor and care, while offering much insight on class and race relations, and urban survival in general; neither does he resort to overheated righteousness. While a certain amount of fluency in South African culture may be necessary to fully appreciate it, this book with intrigue any reader with its intense, you-are-there depiction of a city in flux." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , "Surely one of the most ingenious love letters--full of violence, fear, humour, and cunning--ever addressed to a city." --Geoff Dyer
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