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Download The Madonna of Excelsior Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Madonna of Excelsior Audiobook, by Zakes Mda Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (266 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Zakes Mda Narrator: Robin Miles Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2016 ISBN: 9781461811459
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In 1971, nineteen citizens of Excelsior, a farming community in South Africa’s rural Free States, were charged with breaking apartheid’s Immorality Act, which forbade sexual relations between blacks and whites on the pretext of avoiding miscegenation. The women were jailed as they awaited trial and their white counterparts were released on bail. In the end, the state withdrew the charges, but the accused women’s lives, already complicated, became harder than ever. Mda tells the story of a family at the heart of the scandal, revealing a country in which apartheid, even as it sought to keep the races apart, concealed interracial liaisons of every kind. Niki, the fallen Madonna, transgresses boundaries for the sake of love; her choices have profound repercussions in the lives of her black son, Viliki, and her mixed-race daughter, Popi, who come of age in the years after the end of apartheid, when freedom allows them—indeed compels them—to figure out their racial identities for themselves. As the story advances to the present, the mixed society of Excelsior comes to suggest South Africa today, a society far more complex—and more dramatic—than conventional notions of black and white will allow.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nia W | 1/11/2014

    " I adored this book. A little bit of a hard read but it was excellent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Smith | 1/3/2014

    " Still want to read more....and it's worth a visit to Excelsior: Free State at its best! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cassandra | 9/23/2013

    " A true story about how we set up boundaries in society between certain groups of people, usually around racial lines (this book takes place in South Africa during apartheid) and how utterly useless it is to divide humans. We all belong to each other. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 matt | 6/30/2013

    " a bunch of blacks and whites have sex in a barn while a baby crawls around watching and playing with a bottle of alcohol. a mixed baby is born, farts in bed then grows up to run a library "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eva | 6/15/2013

    " I did not like it aa much as I wanted to. The ending felt very rushed and there was no clear indication of how much time had passed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 HKd | 11/18/2012

    " A fictionalised account of a well known scandal in South African history. I wanted to like this more than I did. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alex | 11/5/2012

    " I was suppose to read this for a class last year and never got around to it. I held onto it because it seemed interesting and finally got around to it. I enjoyed the book but the story wasn't too fascinating. It did lead me to read more about South Africa and its history so that's good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Esther | 10/30/2012

    " a tangle of art and music, politics, family drama. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracey | 10/17/2012

    " I had to read this book as part of my UNISA degree. It was interesting! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fela | 4/19/2012

    " i loved the book, Zakes Mda never dissapoints. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deborah | 1/20/2012

    " Excellent story that really captures the captures the complexities of apartheid and people's reactions to it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 William | 1/13/2012

    " This book grew on me. Moments of magic realism threw me at first but then the powerful storytelling took over and made it a book I'll always remember. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ammie | 9/9/2011

    " Although eventually the story did manage to draw me in, I was definitely put off by the lengthy and only somewhat relevant-seeming descriptions of paintings in the first part of the book. Still good, but I liked "Ways of Dying" much better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 8/15/2011

    " I wasn't huge on the art motif throughout the book, but otherwise it's absolutely fabulous. A must-read, esp. if you're interested in South Africa. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 7/25/2011

    " Still want to read more....and it's worth a visit to Excelsior: Free State at its best! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deborah | 9/3/2010

    " Excellent story that really captures the captures the complexities of apartheid and people's reactions to it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nia | 1/14/2010

    " I adored this book. A little bit of a hard read but it was excellent. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alex | 11/20/2009

    " I was suppose to read this for a class last year and never got around to it. I held onto it because it seemed interesting and finally got around to it. I enjoyed the book but the story wasn't too fascinating. It did lead me to read more about South Africa and its history so that's good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracey | 8/8/2008

    " I had to read this book as part of my UNISA degree. It was interesting! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 William | 4/2/2008

    " This book grew on me. Moments of magic realism threw me at first but then the powerful storytelling took over and made it a book I'll always remember. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ammie | 3/14/2008

    " Although eventually the story did manage to draw me in, I was definitely put off by the lengthy and only somewhat relevant-seeming descriptions of paintings in the first part of the book. Still good, but I liked "Ways of Dying" much better. "

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About the Author
Author Zakes Mda

Zakes Mda has received every major South African prize for his work. Born in 1948, he has been a visiting professor at Yale and the University of Vermont. He is now a dramaturg at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg, and a Professor in the Creative Writing Department at Ohio University.

About the Narrator

Robin Miles began her audiobook narration in 1994 covering many different genres and has won twenty-nine AudioFile Earphones awards. In 2014 she won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration in the Inspirational/Faith-Based Nonfiction category. Her film and television credits include The Last Days of Disco, Primary Colors, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order, New York Undercover, National Geographic’s Tales from the Wild, All My Children, and One Life to Live. She regularly gives seminars to members of SAG and AFTRA actors’ unions, and in 2005 she started Narration Arts Workshop in New York City, offering audiobook recording classes and coaching. She holds a BA degree in Theater Studies from Yale University, an MFA in acting from the Yale School of Drama, and a certificate from the British American Drama Academy in England.