Ways Of Staying | Granta

  • Published: 01/04/2010
  • ISBN: 9781846272653
  • 148x20mm
  • 240 pages

Ways Of Staying

Kevin Bloom

As a journalist, Kevin Bloom had witnessed and reported on the rising tide of violence in post-Apartheid South Africa. But when his own cousin was killed in a vicious random attack, the questions he’d been asking about the troubling political and social changes in his country took on a sickeningly personal urgency. Suddenly, it felt as though this South Africa was no longer the place he’d grown up in or the place which felt like home. Still stunned by the loss, Bloom begins to trace the path of violence from the murder of his cousin in the hills of Zululand to the fatal shooting of the historian David Rattray, linking these individual crimes to the riven political landscape, and the riots and xenophobic attacks of 2008. Visceral, complicated and compassionate, Ways of Staying is an eloquent account of how the white community is coping with black majority rule, and in particular how one family is coping in the aftermath of their own private tragedy.

Kevin Bloom is that rare creature - a local journalist who kept his head and a measure of cool objectivity even as South Africa teetered on the brink of madness. He is familiar with the darkest corners of our collective psyche, but he somehow renders the mess we're in with the lucid detachment of a New Yorker writer. This is a vanishingly rare achievement. Bloom's tales of who we are and how we got here should be read by everyone contemplating the agonising question that follows: where are we going?

Rian Malan, author of MY TRAITOR'S HEART

A riveting examination of South Africa's chronic illness, murderous revenge mostly on whites but worryingly on foreign blacks too. I could not put this book down

Janet Suzman

Ways of Staying is a profoundly uncomfortable book. Motivated by the author's experience of no longer feeling at home in South Africa, it is also an important one ... with wide-eyed humanity, he tells complex, often difficult stories of individuals and how the senseless, shattering violence of events based in social and political changes have affected them. Prompted by trauma, Ways of Staying transcends being an angry book; instead Bloom's conclusions about what it means to stay in South Africa are both sensitive and powerfully resonant

Tina Jackson, Metro

The Author

Kevin Bloom is an award-winning author, editor and investigative journalist. He is the co-author of Continental Shift: A Journey into Africa’s Changing Fortunes, published by Portobello in April 2016. His first book, Ways of Staying (Portobello, 2010), was named amongst the best overall titles of the year by South African broadsheets Sunday Times, Sunday Independent and The Witness, and was shortlisted for both the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize and the Alan Paton Award, Africa’s most prestigious non-fiction prize. It won the 2010 South African Literary Award for literary journalism. Kevin is an Honorary Writing Fellow at the University of Iowa, and a recipient of the WISER Writing Fellowship. His byline has appeared in Granta, The Guardian and The Daily Beast, amongst others, and he is a correspondent-at-large for South Africa’s Daily Maverick.

More about the author →

Kevin Bloom on Granta.com

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