Summary and Info
An old woman is dying of cancer in Cape Town. A classics professor, Mrs Curren has always been opposed to the brutality of apartheid, but has lived insulated from its true horrors. Now she is suddenly forced to come to terms with the iron-hearted rage that the system has wrought. In an extended letter addressed to her daughter, who has long since fled to America, Mrs Curren recounts the strange events of her dying days. She witnesses the burning of a nearby black township; discovers the bullet-riddled body of her servant's son, and a teenage black activist hiding in her house, who is killed by security forces. And through it all, her only companion is a homeless man, an alcoholic who appears on her doorstep. J M Coetzee was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003.