Prisoners of Culture

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Bitter EdenBitter Eden
by Tatamkhulu Afrika
Picador. 232 pages, $25.

 

HIGHLY ACCLAIMED when it was published in the UK in 2002, Bitter Eden is a novel by a South African writer named Tatamkhulu Afrika (his chosen name means “Grandfather Africa”). The author died shortly after the book, which was written years before, was finally published. Only now is the book making its way to American readers with a new U.S. edition. Based on the author’s own experience as a prisoner of war in Northern Africa during World War II, Bitter Eden tells the story of three men negotiating their emerging sexuality in an inhospitable time and under the bleakest of circumstances.

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Dale W. Boyer is a writer based in Chicago.

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