Es’kia Mphahlele’s seminal memoir of life in apartheid South Africa—available for the first time in Penguin Classics
Nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1969, Es’kia Mphahlele is considered the Dean of African Letters and the father of black South African writing. Down Second Avenue is a landmark book that describes Mphahlele’s experience growing up in segregated South Africa. Vivid, graceful, and unapologetic, it details a daily life of severe poverty and brutal police surveillance under the subjugation of an apartheid regime. Banned in South Africa after its original 1959 publication for its protest against apartheid, Down Second Avenue is a foundational work of literature that continues to inspire activists today.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.