|Winner of the Johannesburg Sunday Times Alan Paton Prize for Nonfiction |
Discover a people''s enduring power through the inspiring life of a fascinating woman.
Critical acclaim for The Calling of Katie Makanya
"A very marvelous and precious document. . . . It is a magnificent story superbly told. The combination of Katie''s extraordinary life and McCord''s immense talent as a storyteller is overwhelming. I found it compulsive reading and deeply moving." --Athol Fugard.
"I fell in love with the Delaney sisters, enjoying both the book and the play. It is good to know their sister in Africa also has her say, that Katie''s life, too, can be shared." --Nikki Giovanni.
"To know the story of Katie Makanya is to feel the pain and promise of life for blacks in South Africa for generations." --Detroit Free Press.
"Emotionally compelling, resonantly detailed, and of extraordinary cultural significance." --Kirkus Reviews.
From the Publisher:
Critical acclaim for The Calling of Katie Makanya||
"A very marvelous and precious document. . . . It is a magnificent story superbly told. The combination of Katie's extraordinary life and McCord's immense talent as a storyteller is overwhelming. I found it compulsive reading and deeply moving." -Athol Fugard||
"It will tear your heart to shreds, but it will also give you great pleasure, hope, and strength. It's that kind of book. Katie Makanya was that kind of woman." -Sunday Independent (Johannesburg)||
"I fell in love with the Delaney sisters, enjoying both the book and the play. It is good to know their sister in Africa also has her say, that Katie's life, too, can be shared." -Nikki Giovanni||
The Calling of Katie Makanya||
A Memoir of South Africa||
Her mother's entry in the family Bible recorded "a second daughter, Katie, born on July 28, 1873 at Fort Beaufort in the Cape of Good Hope." Because it was milking time, Katie's father would call her by her home name, Malubisi, or "Mother of Milk."||
Colonialism was at its height when Katie Makanya was born in South Africa. When she died at the age of 83, the British Empire had all but disappeared, and apartheid was firmly in place. During the intervening decades of epochal historical change, of turbulent social transitions and profound political and cultural upheavals, Katie's courage and determination gave her the strength and will to triumph over poverty and hardship.||
The Calling of Katie Makanya is an award-winning look at the inspiring life of an exceptional woman. One of six children, Katie grew up watching British Redcoats drilling and hearing stories of the Zulu king Cetshwayo's fierce attempts to drive the white men into the sea. While still quite young, she showed a natural talent for the rhythm and melody of the languages around her, "all so similar yet each as different as the notes of a song." Katie became fluent in English, Dutch, Xhosa, and Sotho. Before she was twenty, her youthful inquisitiveness and talent took her, and her sister Charlotte, to England as members of the Jubilee Singers. Yet, despite promises of wealth and fame as a performer, the already determined young woman vowed to return home, to marry, and to raise a family.||
Katie's life back in South Africa would have its share of bitterness and personal tragedy. Leaving behind Durban and Johannesburg because "I don't want to live among white people any longer," Katie sought peace in the country, settling near the Adams Mission at Amanzimtoti. There she met the McCords. James McCord, a white doctor who had come to treat the Zulus, needed an interpreter and assistant. Katie Makanya had found her calling.||
Before her death, Katie related the remarkable story of her life to Dr. McCord's daughter Margaret. This beautiful oral history, filled with haunting remembrances of a richly led life, is sparked by the wisdom of a brave and inspiring woman. The Calling of Katie Makanya will capture your heart. Through its compelling narrative of one woman's life, we discover a people's enduring power.Look through the window of one woman's life...discover a peoples' enduring power "I fell in love with the Delaney sisters. It is good to know that their sister in Africa also has her say". -- Nikki Giovanni "It will tear your heart to shreds, but it will also give you great pleasure, hope, and strength. It's that kind of book. Katie Makanya was that kind of woman". -- Sunday Independent This award-winning memoir of a wonderful black woman spans the turbulent era from the late nineteenth century into the days of apartheid. Set in South Africa's major cities and towns, Katie Makanya's story encompasses epochal historical events between the two world wars. It tells a story of black South Africa: its patriarchal culture, customs, and traditions. And it chronicles a courageous woman's triumph over poverty and hardship. Makanya's childhood inquisitiveness and talent took her to England with her sister Charlotte, as members of the Jubilee Singers. Her courage and determination brought her back to South Africa, her marriage, children, and her work as interpreter and assistant to Dr. James McCord, the founder of the Zulu hospital in Durban. Makanya died in 1955 at age 83, but not before she had related the remarkable story of her life to Dr. McCord's daughter, Margaret. In The Calling of Katie Makanya, McCord offers a beautiful oral history that has the power to capture the heart. It is a compelling narrative combining haunting remembrances of a richly-led life and the sparkling wisdom of a brave and inspiring woman.
An oral history of the life of an educated black South African woman--a singer who gave up the promise of a career to return home, marry, and raise a family. She concealed her talent and education and lived the life of a humble servant for whites until she was hired as interpreter and assistant to an American physician in Natal. The physician's daughter, at Katie Makanya's request, compiled this autobiography when Makanya was in her 80s.
"A moving, beautifully told account of an ordinary, yet extraordinary, life in South Africa....[A] sensitive and penetrating portrait of a culture, a time, and a place rarely seen from the inside....Makanya's story is emotionally compelling, resonantly detailed, and of extraordinary cultural significance." 01/15/1997 New York Times Book Review
"The book is a quietly powerful memoir told as unassumingly as Katie Makanya lived, offering an intimate perspective on South Africa's pre-apartheid history." - Mary Ellen Sullivan 04/06/1997 publisher's ad copy
"I fell in love with the Delaney sisters. It is goo to know their sister in Africa also has her say." - Nikki Giovanni