Fool’s Gold: Selected Modjaji Short ★★★★★ Stories
Edited by Arja Salafranca, Modjaji
As short-story writer Lorrie Moore said: “A short story is a love affair; a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.” Each of the excellent short stories in this well-curated collection offers a brief window into the life of South African women. Some are poignantly sad, highlighting poverty, Aids orphans, patriarchy and social problems, while others offer light relief, like Lauri Kubuitsile’s story about a village Lothario. Then there’s the magnificent “Prayers” by Makhosazana Xaba, told as a letter for assistance from a teenager caring for her sister after their parents die of Aids. Another heartbreaker is Jayne Bauling’s “Stains Like a Map”, about a couple who leave Mozambique for the promised land of South Africa with little more than a stained mattress that disintegrates like their journey. While some are harrowing, every story is wonderful.