Described as a fine work of fiction, Rehana Rossouw's What Will People Say is set in the mid-1980s Cape Flats, Hanover Park, relaying the struggles of the Fourie family.
Neville, the father, is a messenger for a law firm in the middle of the state of emergency. Mom, Magda, is a supervisor in a clothing factory. She holds the fort and plays a pivotal role in the lives of their three children Suzette, Nicky and Anthony the youngest child who is coerced into the world of gangs.
Rossouw explains how the setting takes on a character of its own.
The huge character I set out in the opening line is the township itself, what I tried to show when I wrote this novel is what happens to people when you take them out of a life that they have known for generations and you dump them in a physical space that does not allow for family life, where you leave people defenseless without a police station and gangs rise.— Rehana Rossouw, author
Speaking on her writing technique, Rossouw shares some of her inspirations.
Barbara Kingsolver does it best. I came nowhere close to Barbara Kingsolver. Poisonwood Bible was my inspiration, I don't think I matched it.— Rehana Rossouw, author
Click on the link below to listen to the full audio...
This article first appeared on 702 : Literature Corner: Mid-1980s Cape Flats setting makes for inspiring novel