We Kiss Them With Rain - Futhi Ntshingila

Staff Pick

Growing up in a shantytown outside Durban, South Africa, Mvelo feels “like an old worn-out shoe” at age fourteen. She’s caught between the twin “epidemics” of HIV/AIDS and rape. She’s poor and often hungry. She’s been betrayed and is about to be orphaned; “hope felt like a slippery fish in her hand,” but she hangs on. Mvelo comes from a long line of strong, determined, and fiercely loving women, and by the time she has ”nothing to lose,” she also “has a chance to arm-wrestle with god, and maybe to win.” The turning point for Mvelo, a gifted singer, comes when she confronts her rapist publically and brings him down without a word. This scene is emblematic of the novel’s overall passionate restraint, which, along with some wonderful characters—Zola, Mvelo’s mother, once a dedicated runner; Nonceba, a skilled lawyer and possibly also a witch; Sipho, a good man trying to do better—makes it a joy to read, despite Mvelo’s bleak circumstances. Ntshingila’s prose is as graceful as it is forceful, conveying her deep-seated faith in truth to overcome the world’s ugliness.

We Kiss Them with Rain Cover Image
ISBN: 9781946395047
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Catalyst Press - March 13th, 2018

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