In Ways of Dying, Zakes Mda’s acclaimed first novel, Toloki is a “professional mourner” in a vast and violent city of the new South Africa. Day after day he attends. Winner of the M-Net Book Prize Shortlisted for the CNA and Noma Awards. In Ways of Dying, Zakes Mda’s acclaimed first novel, Toloki is a “professional. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Novelist and playwright Zakes Mda’s Ways of Dying was a big hit in his native South Africa, where it was even.

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Hoping to find another Zakes Mda book that hopefully give me a different perspective of the author It comes at the stage in the story just after when Toloka and Noria have re- built their house shack that has been ripped down by, by what?

Ways of Dying (Toloki #1) by Zakes Mda

The two move in together and start a relationship, each claiming the other knows and can teach how to live. The book covers only a week and little happens in that week: Retrieved from ” https: At times I found it hard to believe such as the unfolding of the relationship between Toloki and Noria and them not ever being intimate.

Nov 02, Carolien rated it liked it Shelves: He makes a paste to use for plastering the pictures from the magazines and catalogues onto the walls. It is within this struggle that the author shows us the graphic nature of death that is also a way of life. Lisa Hill on Sisters Publishing Toloki’s mourning for strangers — praised as adding: Want to Read saving….

Art as the accompaniment to our sorrow, as well as the comforter against it. Their generosity of spirit, and willingness to allow imagination to trump reality as when they decorate the walls of Noria’s new shack, and practically move within the images there is enough to allow them deal with the horrors all around them.


History being cyclical as it is there will always be vying need for books like this. Shortly within the first few chapters I was taken aback by the grotesque descriptions to be found in the story.

Even at a young age they have grown numb to the horrors of death because it occurs in the street daily without a cause.

Shadrack was then told to have sexual intercourse with a mmda dead woman. Although they were both scarred and had their personal issues it seemed as if they were perfect for one another.

The sun rises on Noria’s shack.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. It finds and shows us grace amidst the degradation, wways amongst the cynical hate and violence, and above all beauty and poetry in the bleak, prosaic stench of grasping humanity. Like Liked by 1 person. This allusion carries the significance of a second chance; Jesus died to save humans from their sins, and Wwys Klinkies sacrifices convention so that society may hopefully see its own faults.

As a reader I felt the looming sense of death and loss that pervaded people’s lives. Some scenes are violent and brutal while Toloki himself is a sad, optimistic, and often hilarious individual.

I will see if I can track them down.

Hello Sonia, please, call me Lisa: Do you care of I quote you for an essay? Mda’s light touch keeps the death-horrors from overwhelming the book — though occasionally death is also kept almost too much at a distance. Toloki decided that since Noria had no shoes, he was not going to wear any shoes either. The story of how two children lose each other and then find each other again as adults. For details of the CAL licence for educational institutions contact: But the greater part of the book tells their stories from childhood on, how they lost touch and how they came to find each other again.


You have always been good at creating beautiful things with your hands. In the beginning there is what seems to be a bizarre recap of childhood and upbringing that I could wwys explain as alien to me.

Ways of Dying

Feminist at the City University of New York, The two join up for survival, and the story involves etheral, dreamlike, and fantasy elements, and amongst all the death and decay they find happyness. No individual owns any story. Life here in America is all I have ever known, where I have had the luxury of sitting back and watching other places like the setting found in the book rage war.

The right to tell stories is one of the themes of this powerful gem of a novel. Learn how your comment data is processed. On another level, this is a Bildungsromana picaresque, journeyman’s tale of a youth who leaves his village to seek his fortune in the big city and become a man. A Novel Rate this: Lisa Hill on August 15, at 3: Ways of Dying Reading Schedule.

We would not be needing to justify the communal voice that tells this story if you had not wondered how we became so omniscient in the affairs of Toloki and Noria.

I love the character Toloki! They are always on the go. The 1st personal plural narrators tell stories of Noria and Toloki’s village lives, as well as the was they’ve both encountered since leaving. A good introduction to the instability to say the least of life in urban South Africa in the 90s. Dec 26, Ilona rated it really liked it.