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Always Another Country: A Memoir of Exile and Home by Sisonke Msimang

Always Another Country

Judges' Comments 

Sisonke Msimang’s Always Another Country is a memoir set against the backdrop of South Africa’s apartheid era and its aftermath.  Raised in exile in Zambia by her South African freedom-fighter parents, the book follows the author’s journey between Kenya, Canada, the USA, South Africa and Australia.  Msimang always foregrounds her privilege as a highly educated, upper middle-class outsider to the trauma experienced by those living in South Africa under apartheid. Yet her experiences, as chronicled in this book, reveal the pervasive evil of racism that marks those living outside the geographical borders of the apartheid state.

Msimang’s insights into the human condition are luminous, whether they be those of an adult narrator retrospectively examining her peripatetic childhood and adolescence, or of a young black woman navigating her power in newly-free South Africa, or of a mother of two little children in contemporary Australia. This book offers a rare glimpse into the life of someone who has drawn love and learning from many different countries while having close ties to one of the great struggles for equality and justice in our lifetimes.