South Africa

South Africa, Maverick Life

AmaBookaBooka: Author’s triumphant return (after being killed) – A podcast

AmaBookaBooka: Author’s triumphant return (after being killed) – A podcast

At the heart of the incredible memoir Killing Karoline is an unspeakable lie … By JONATHAN ANCER.

Trevor Noah’s path to the hot seat of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. His autobiography Born a Crime documents his path from South Africa to New York. Today’s AmaBookaBooka guest is not the king of stand-up comedy. We’ve interviewed another king – Sara-Jayne King. Thanks to apartheid’s petty and brutal laws, Sara-Jayne was also born a crime. Her biological mother was white, her biological father was black … and their affair triggered a sequence of events that started with the birth of Karoline in 1980, the death of Karoline a few months later, and Killing Karoline 37 years later.

Sara-Jayne is a journalist, talk radio host and according to her Twitter bio a “profaner & #adoptee”. She is also the author of the riveting memoir Killing Karoline, which documents her journey from Karoline to Sara-Jayne back to Karoline and then finally – and triumphantly – to Sara-Jayne.

It’s a journey that takes us from Johannesburg to a farm in rural England to Dubai to Cape Town and tells a powerful and poignant story about the raw reality of a primal wound, identity, adoption, belonging, sort of belonging, not really belonging, rejection, loss, shame, hair trauma, race and racism – and rehab.

At the heart of the story is an unspeakable lie.

Killing Karoline is a collision of multiple worlds but always a search for meaning – sometimes in a bottle, sometimes with a sharp object dug into her skin and often in food – but always searching. Killing Karoline is an easy read but it’s not always easy reading. The book is smart, thoughtful and authentic – just like the author. DM

Gallery

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.