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Under the Skin
by Dyk, Marion Van

ISBN: 9781921462801
PUBLISHER: Finch Publishing
FORMAT: Paperback
PAGES: 256
DIMENSIONS: 21.4 x 15.2 centimetres

For many of us social justice is a political concept. For others, it is an individual daily struggle to not only survive, but, also, to thrive. UNDER THE SKIN by Marion van Dyk is a beautifully written and evocative memoir about the personal made political. It submerges the reader in the world of South Africa from the 1950s through to the 1980s. Marion and her family are classified as 'coloured' neither black nor white by the apartheid government. Caught between two worlds, they are forced to live as secondclass citizens, fighting hard to hold on to their identity. Marion writes powerfully of incidents in her life in South Africa, her husband and child and the decision to emigrate to Australia. Marion's skill as a writer lies in her ability to explain in a deceptively simple style the complex politics of the day. She relates ordinary daily events that serve as a record of the extraordinary period of South African history she lived through. Individuals had to use their wits and a strong dose of humour to survive. In one story Marion reflects on how her Aunty Borrie, who was light skinned, decided to pass for white in the work environment because she was paid more as a white office worker than she would be for performing the same role as a 'coloured'. So, on the days when Uncle Arthur, Borrie's husband (who was much darker) fetched her from work in the car, she would climb into the backseat. Borrie always said she would declare him her

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