303pp., paperback, Cape Town, 2021
William Dicey draws on newspaper articles, memoirs, and little-known histories to present a diary of 1986, a pivotal year in South African history.
"Dicey uses 1986 as a peg on which to hang the various strands that stretch back and forth across that momentous decade of the 1980s. The tone for the book is set by the inclusion of one or two apparently randomly selected news clippings from the first day of every one of the 12 monthly “chapters”. At one and the same time, these highlight how ordinary and bizarre was the gruesome twilight of apartheid.
This is a riveting, but uncomfortable read, written by someone who has a deft command of language and nuance. I cannot but echo the statement about 1986 by author Jacob Dlamini (Native Nostalgia, Askari etc) after he had reviewed the manuscript: 'Amazing. Read it!'" Terry bell, Daily Maverick
William Dicey is the author of Borderline and Mongrel. He lives in Cape Town.