Love Interrupted is set partially in the university town of Grahamstown and partially in rural Limpopo. The stories in this collection have an intimate feel, like conversations eavesdropped on.
We hear the voices of black South African women, many of whom have to endure their husbands’ nyatsis (mistresses), their abuse or both. Some cope by turning to church, others by turning a blind eye and some, like the narrator of “Vicious Cycle”, by seeking to understand the legacy of South Africa’s past and the effects of migrant labour on its men.
Despite serious themes of patriarchy and racism, there is much humour and lightness in the stories, as in “Bridal Shower”, in which the narrator encounters a male stripper for the first time, and in “Toy Boy”, in which a woman befriends the gigolo next door.
This is an engaging collection full or rich characters you won’t forget, from Lebo, whose dream is take over the business of her domestic worker’s mother’s boss, and uses a witchdoctor to punish her detractors to MmaPhuti, who spikes her famous ginger-beer with whiskey.