This is the story of Lucky Simelane's search for his true identity. Lucky has been brought up in a small rural black community. But is he really black? The others tease him because of his light brown eyes and blond hair. He has vague notions of having been abducted from his white family, and there are remnants of Afrikaans words somewhere in his head. So Lucky sets out on a quest to discover who he is. When people find out about Lucky's dilemma, it touches a raw nerve in the national psyche, and the debate about identity and ethnic origin starts to swirl around the young man, confusing rather than clarifying, diffusing rather than focusing his search for himself. What is it to be African? What does a family mean to a growing child? Does it matter what language you speak or think in? What if you're not even sure of your name? Issues of identity and belonging crowd in on Lucky, who is thrown off balance by the publicity surrounding him, yet enjoys the attention and sudden 'celebrity' this brings. In the end, who is Lucky? And can Lucky cope with being Lucky?
About the Author
Robin Malan has worked in English teaching and theatre in education all his life (his poetry anthologies Inscapes, New Inscapes and Worldscapes are among his many compilations for school use). He was Assistant Head at Waterford Kamhlaba United World College in Swaziland, 1978-92. He has taught in the Department of Drama at Stellenbosch University and tutored in the English Department at the University of Cape Town. He now lives in Cape Town. He does volunteer work for Triangle Project, the organisation caring for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community. He was one of the founding editors of English Alive, the annual anthology of writing from high schools and colleges in Southern Africa, from 1967 to 1971; and was again editor from 1995 to 2004. His novel for young people The Sound of New Wings won the runner-up prize in the Young Africa Awards 1998-9. He is the Series Editor for the Siyagruva Series of novels for South African teens, published by New Africa Books. As a writer in the Series, he uses various pseudonyms. In 2001 he was awarded the Molteno Medal for lifetime service to literature by the Cape Tercentenary Foundation, on the Council of which he now sits. His latest books are The Southern African Impossible Book Quiz Book! (2004), and his novel based on the life of John Keats Rebel Angel (2005).
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