26 by KatOë Prinsloo

26

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A young South African woman traces the story of her life through 26 men she has bedded.

Debut author Prinsloo had always been a bit precocious. As a girl in Johannesburg, she tried to kiss at least one boy for every letter of the alphabet. In college, her horizons expanded, and by the time she worked as a banker and lived on her own, her little black book had grown voluminous. This volume is that little book, only annotated and dramatized. As Prinsloo’s life unfolded, she became “Miss Popularity amongst men of all ages, shapes, and sizes.” First there was Abia, who comforted her where her brother was killed in a crash, and with whom she “tested new positions that Cosmopolitan’s editors would pay good money to depict and write about.” Then there’s Herseney, who had her screaming “sopranos, octaves, and high decibels.” He impregnated three other women, was forced to marry one, but snuck off from his reception to visit Prinsloo once more. There was Aziz—much older and less attractive than represented online—but “the ugly old man was a good kisser.” More than once, Prinsloo found “the one” only to meet with heartache or misfortune. Readers will be entertained by the carnality of the author’s appetites and worried about her during hard times. Prinsloo does a nice job of catching up her non­–South African readers on the tricky racial politics of growing up, and going out as a “colored,” or mixed-race woman. The various men do blend together in spots, though for the most part, Prinsloo draws each character distinctly (including a bit of rough language for her fellow femmes fatales—some are “harlots,” some are “skanks”). Occasionally, a character’s motivation may seem unclear or the author’s behavior contradictory. More than a few readers are bound to identify either with the protagonist or with her variously lucky and unlucky conquests.

An erotic memoir that explores self-revelation (both witting and unwitting) with laughter and sighs.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-5049-8928-2
Page count: 246pp
Publisher: AuthorHouseUK
Program: Kirkus Indie
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