Richard Rive


South African writer born in District Six, Cape Town, a working class area that is very important in his novels.
A firm enemy of racism and apartheid.

Buckingham Palace (1986): 202 pages. Deals with the inhabitants of a certain small section of District Six, a working class area in Cape Town famous for its cosmopolitanism, with all different races and religions living together. The characters are introduced, and through them the rhythm of life in District Six, as well as the fraternal spirit that existed between people who were supposedly "different" because of varying skin colors and religions. Although poor, it is shown as a district with personality where at least its inhabitants could be comfortable. Looming over the characters is the apartheid campaign to destroy District Six little by little, its cosmopolitanism a direct affront to the racist government. Declared a "whites-only" area in 1966, removals began in 1968 and continued for many years after. This little part of District Six slowly fades away, its residents forced into "townships" (slums) far outside the city, where crime is rampant, and living conditions horrible. A fiercely anti-racist novel.

Emergency (1963):
237 pages

Emergency continued (1990):
184 pages

Short Stories
Advance Retreat: Story about a petty dictator of a principal and a revolt of students and teachers against him. Shows very well the deceptive and varied methods those in power use to repress and divert anger and responsability. Also criticizes the ridiculous, humiliating racist apartheid laws and how they forced people into so many different groups, forbidden to intermingle.

No Room at Solitaire: On the hypocrisy of white South Africans who worship a "colored," Arab, poor savior while violently discriminating against the poor and people of color. Also shows how the white racists guilted and manipulated other white racists to be more and more and more extreme in their repulsive racism.

Resurrection: Passionate story about how the horrible racist ideology of Apartheid seeped even into relations between members of the same family and alienated them from each other, all due to something as insignificant as skin tone.