Innocents in Africa: An American Family's Story
Based in Ranelagh or can meet in town or send by post.
In the 1930s, at the height of America's Great Depression, Drury Pifer's father, a newly-married mining engineer, followed his obsession with rocks, stones and mineral formations to the mysterious mines of South Africa. An American idealist with progressive ideas about pay and working conditions, he found himself caught between the insular hostility of the Afrikaners and the colonial arrogance of the English. His adopted country was a place of primitive mining settlements, stinging desert winds, locust plagues, rats in the water supply, bullying bosses and terrible poverty. Racial hatred had been given a name and enforced by law: apartheid. It was here that Drury Pifer's parents, unprepared for the prison-camp conditions and ugly prejudice they would encounter, tried to raise their family. This is an evocation of a South African boyhood, by a boy who never belonged.
Author - Drury Pifer
Publisher: Penguin Books / Granta (1995)