Blessed are the Dead, by Malla Nunn.
Blessed are the Dead, by Malla Nunn. Atria/Emily Bestler Books (2012), Edition: Original, Paperback, 336 pages
GLOBAL WOMEN OF COLOR
AUSTRALIAN WOMEN WRITERS
Another of Malla Nunn’s great mystery series set in South Africa under apartheid.
Malla Nunn currently lives and writes in Australia, but she grew up in rural South Africa and brings her knowledge of that country to her writing. This novel, like her previous ones, features Detective Sergeant Emmanuel Cooper and his Zulu sidekick, Detective Constable Samuel Shabalala. This time they investigate the death of a beautiful Zulu woman, the daughter of the local chief, and find that her life impacted many in both the white and black community.
As always with Nunn’s book, readers are exposed to the ways in which the color line had a daily impact on individuals. And we see the ways in which it was a line that whites could ignore at will. This time, Nunn also takes us inside the Zulu community to see how it functioned. Factual knowledge of apartheid is very different than the emotional understanding of its impact that Nunn’s writing provides. She is a fine writer.
I heartily recommend Blessed are the Dead to all readers, especially those those who enjoy mysteries and to all who care about Africa and Africans.
See my reviews of Nunn’s previous books.