The Kopano Matlwa Collection


Kopano Matlwa won the 2006/2007 European Union Award for her first novel, Coconut, which went on to become a bestseller and a classic South African novel. Her subsequent novels, Spilt Milk and Period Pain, focus on the ‘Born Free’ generation, and address issues of race, class and colonisation.

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The Kopano Matlwa Collection

Coconut is a story that deals with growing up as a black child in a white world. It is the story of black youth who grow up in white neighbourhoods, go to private schools and have white friends. As is the case with any child, all that these children want is to grow, to be loved; but most importantly, to fit in. Fitting in, however, comes at the cost of one’s blackness – too white for black, and too black for white.

Spilt Milk is a story of two passionate people who share a shameful past and a tenuous present. Headmistress of the elite Sekolo sa Ditlhora school for talented black children, Mohumagadi and disgraced preacher, Father Bill are brought together again decades after a childhood love affair that expelled them from their communities. Much to the dismay of her students, Mohumagadi takes Father Bill in as a teacher, resulting in a battle of wills and wits for the hearts and minds of the students living in the shadow of revolution and change.

Period Pain is a compelling story about how the broken continue to survive. In Period Pain, Matlwa has poignantly captured the heartache and confusion of so many South Africans who feel defeated by the litany of headline horrors: xenophobia, corrective rape, corruption and crime and for many the death sentence that is the public health nightmare.

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