MATING BIRDS by Lewis Nkosi


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A young South African man, Sibiya, college-educated and a would-be writer, faces death by hanging for the crime of raping a white woman--and this is his testament: . . . That he was led on repeatedly, wordlessly but in the most grossly obvious of ways, by a young white woman of questionable morals (she's a stripper in a Durban club) whom he first encountered on the beach--he in the colored-only section; she in the white. The verdict that his shamelessly stacked ""trial"" will deliver is never in doubt--and so Sibiya spends his last days writing down both the grotesque perversions of justice of the trial as well as his recounting of what actually occurred: ""the final ripening of that seed and the harvesting of lustful ambition that had grown in a matter of weeks until it had matured like a powerful weed to consume my life."" Here, the heavy mutual voyeurism of the attraction is stressed--all of it narrated in a precise, even stuffy style (Sibiya's or author Nkosi's) that's often distracting. But the down-and-dirty--and deadly--specifics of sexuality punished by hatred gets told clearly and sadly enough.

Pub Date: March 31st, 1986
Publisher: St. Martin's