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Book of the Month - June 2016

Our June Book of the Month is Reconstructing Trauma and Meaning: Life Narratives of Survivors of Political Violence during Apartheid in South Africa by Ileana Carmen Rogobete.

Repressive regimes, regardless of their nature and geographic location, have a destructive and dehumanizing effect on people’s lives. Oppression and political violence shatter victims’ identities, their relationships, communities and the meaning of their world as a safe and coherent place. However, while some people suffer traumatising long term effects, others become stronger and more resilient, able to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of tragedy. Reconstructing Trauma and Meaning is an invitation to revisit, bear witness and listen to the stories of suffering and healing of survivors of apartheid repression in South Africa. This work is an exploration of the life trajectories of former victims of gross human rights violations during apartheid and their creative ways of reconstructing meaning after trauma. Their life narratives, shaped by social, political and cultural realities, are a valuable contribution to the collective memory of the nation, as an intrinsic part of the continuous process of reconciliation and transformation in South Africa.

To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page. 

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMJUN16 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 1st July 2016.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:

“This is an impressive piece of work. The author shows that she mastered the various discourses that infuse and inflect her task, and has presented them largely, elegantly and precisely. She has indeed given voice to her subjects. She has made good use of a broad-ranging scholarship. I would see this study as a telling addition to the psychology-influenced post-apartheid literature, bringing with it a breadth and sophistication lacking in some of that literature.”

—Derek Summerfield, Principal Psychiatrist, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London

“Triggered by her personal experience under the totalitarian communist regime of Romania, Ileana Rogobete’s illuminating work on reconstructing meaning after political trauma in post-apartheid South Africa is not only an academically enriching project, but a personal engagement with the dilemmas involved in any healing process. Having written myself extensively on history, justice, and remembrance, I recommend her work most strongly to anyone interested in understanding the complexity of human existence in the aftermath of immensely violent times.”

—Vladimir Tismaneanu, Professor of Politics, University of Maryland (College Park)

“This book is about those who suffered most in the apartheid years. It exposes us to a level of trauma that stays with victims and survivors—often ignored in the rush to promote nation-building and reconciliation in what is too easily referred to as a ‘post conflict’ society. Ileana Rogobete’s thoughtful work includes lessons for societies across the globe.”

—Charles Villa-Vicencio, Former National Research Director in the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Visiting Professor in the Conflict Resolution Progam, Georgetown University, Washington DC

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