‘Ours is not to stand out but to survive.’ Read a short excerpt from An Image in a Mirror, the debut novel from Ijangolet S Ogwang
 More about the book!

BlackBird Books has shared a short excerpt from An Image in a Mirror, the debut novel from Ijangolet S Ogwang.

Ogwang was born in Kenya to Ugandan parents and raised South African, more specifically in a small town in the Eastern Cape called Butterworth.

An Image in a Mirror is a richly told and deeply intimate African story about the becoming of two young women, who are, the same as much as they are different.

An Image in a Mirror is the first fiction title this year from BlackBird Books, the pioneering publisher of Sweet Medicine, Piggy Boy’s Blues and Nwelezelanga: The Star Child,

Click on the link above for more about the book!

Read an excerpt from An Image in a Mirror:


This has always been my name. It lost vowels and consonants and got rearranged into ‘Kay’ by my Grade Three teacher. ‘Easier to pronounce,’ she said.

Aunty Mercy’s response was to accept. ‘After all, muwala wange, we are in this country, and ours is not to stand out but to survive.’

‘Survive’ sounds lifeless, inanimate, not like the survive of Aunty Mercy’s stories of growing up in Uganda. There, survival was active, done daily. In South Africa, the word had taken on a new meaning. No longer doing, but hiding to make existence easier. Gradually becoming chameleons. I learnt to lurk in the shadows. Drawing just enough attention, not too much. No sudden movements, everything calculated and measured.

Categories Fiction South Africa

Tags An Image in a Mirror BlackBird Books Book excerpts Book extracts Ijangolet S Ogwang Jacana Media New books New releases

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