165pp., paperback, Johannesburg, 2007
"End uses the story of the 1942 movie Casablanca, but situates it in the Mozambique and Johannesburg of the late 80s, with odd references to Hector Pieterson, cell phones, Nigerians in Hillbrow and the Rosebank Hotel as a hangout for rightwing extremists where a black pianist plays Nkosi sikelel iAfrika.
“Will it have a wow finish?” asks the front cover. Well, it ends somewhere in Mozambique with Princess Di in a blue Versace dress being shot and killed.
And that’s not all for absurdities. There’s also the cruel writer Freddie, a kind of superimposed character, who talks to her protagonists, called X and Y, and treats them like puppets on a string. Oh, and one of them changes gender, whenever it suits the manipulative Freddie.
Still with us? Yep, that’s what they call metafiction, intertextuality and post-modernism in literary theory." Fred de Vries, Empire
Barbara Adair is a lecturer in human rights and global democracy at the University of the Witwatersrand. She is the author of In Tangier We Killed the Blue Parrot, which was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Literary Award.