In August 1993, Fulbright scholar Amy Biehl was killed in Cape Town by a group of black teenagers incited by an upsurge in ‘anti-white’ sloganeering. She died just a few metres away from Sindiwe Magona’s house. One of the boys held responsible for the killing was her neighbour’s son.
Mother to Mother takes the form of an epistle to Amy Biehl’s mother. Sindiwe Magona imagines how easily it might have been her own son caught up in the violence of that day. She writes about their lives in a colonised society that not only allowed, but also perpetuated violence against women and impoverished black South Africans. The result is not an apology for murder, but an exquisitely written exploration of the lives of ordinary people in the apartheid years.