HAMILTON AVENUE by Ronald Byron

HAMILTON AVENUE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A first novel localizes a black section of Johannesburg's perimeter and in Newclare the recently town-conditioned Africans are mirrored through the Menos family which undergoes many disruptive situations before it can return to apparent normal living. For Moses' wife objects to the possibility of admitting a second wife into their home and resorts to Kaffir poison to vanquish her rival; his son, Andrew, is submissive to Sam, a tsotsi (hoodlum) leader; his daughter Margaret becomes pregnant; and the ""Russians"", aggressive enemies across the railroad tracks, enforce revenge for Moses' discarded mistress. It takes the regular police to break up the battle, disband the Bantu Guard which has been defending Newclare's respectable families, and to hunt down Andrew for his misdeeds, before Moses regains any part of his previously unruffled life. The echoes of the Forefathers and the kraal, the pseudo adjustment of the black to the superimposition of white codes, here are the dark children in innocent and illogical bewilderment. A South African segment that carries conviction.

Publisher: Macmillan