Amy Biehl was an American graduate of Stanford University and an anti-Apartheid activist in South Africa who was murdered by Cape Town residents. As she drove three friends home to the township of Gugulethu, outside Cape Town, on August 25, 1993, a mob pulled her from the car and stabbed and stoned her to death.
In Mother to Mother, Sindiwe Magona tells the story from the perspective of the mother of one of Biehl’s killers. The novel explores the South African legacy of apartheid through the lens of a woman who remembers a life marked by oppression and injustice. Magona decided to write this novel because it hit too close to home: Amy Biehl was murdered just a few yards away from her own permanent residence in Guguletu, Capetown. One of the boys held responsible for the killing was in fact Magona’s neighbor’s son. Magona began to imagine how easily it might have been her own son caught up in the wave of violence that day.
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