Seeking adventure during the school holidays, five teenagers from the Indian suburb of Lenasia accidentally witness a violent crime that has a lasting impact on their lives. Starting in June of 1993, the novel follows the Five through the next decade as they confront, both as individuals and as a group, questions of who they are, who they are allowed to be, and who they are expected to be in the New South Africa. They must query what role they will allow tradition, ancestry, sexuality, skin colour, love, money and culture to play in their lives as they attempt to forge new paths, sometimes stumbling along the way, but always willing to give one another a helping hand.
The Unfamous Five
Seeking adventure during the school holidays, five teenagers from the Indian suburb of Lenasia accidentally witness a violent crime that has a lasting impact on their lives.
“Moonsamy steers skilfully through the vicissitudes of friendships and growing up in an unequal society. Both robust and tender…a wonderful debut.”
Zoë Wicomb author of You Can’t Get Lost in Cape Town and October, a novel
“At the heart of Nedine Moonsamy’s remarkably assured debut novel, The Unfamous Five, is a story of friendship. Moonsamy shows a deft narrative hand unfolding the bonds and tribulations of a tightly-knit group of Gen-Xers from the formerly Indian township of Lenasia as they negotiate early adulthood and its compromises in post-apartheid South Africa. Moonsamy writes an admirable clean, crisp sentence and in The Unfamous Five she has produced a thoroughly modern, honest novel that is both entertaining and illuminating.”
Pravasan Pillay, publisher and writer