Portrait With Keys: The City Of Johannesburg Unlocked by Ivan VladislavicPortrait With Keys: The City Of Johannesburg Unlocked by Ivan Vladislavic

Portrait With Keys: The City Of Johannesburg Unlocked

byIvan Vladislavic

Paperback | June 2, 2009

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This dazzling portrait of Johannesburg is one of the most haunting, poetic pieces of reportage about a metropolis since Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City. Through precisely crafted snapshots, Ivan Vladislavic observes the unpredictable, day-today transformation of his embattled city: the homeless using manholes as cupboards, a public statue slowly cannibalized for scrap. Most poignantly he charts the small, devastating changes along the postapartheid streets: walls grow higher, neighborhoods are gated off, the keys multiply. Security—insecurity?—is the growth industry. Vladislavic, described as “one of the most imaginative minds at work in South African literature today” (André Brink), delivers “one of the best things ever written about a great, if schizophrenic, city, and an utterly true picture of the new South Africa” (Christopher Hope).
Born in Pretoria in 1957, Ivan Vladislavic has published five works of fiction. Portrait with Keys was shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize and won the Alan Paton, South Africa’s major nonfiction award. He lives in Johannesburg.
Title:Portrait With Keys: The City Of Johannesburg UnlockedFormat:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 8.22 × 5.51 × 0.51 inPublished:June 2, 2009Publisher:WW NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0393335402

ISBN - 13:9780393335408


Editorial Reviews

Portrait with Keys is a beautiful book, affecting and ingenious, opening new intellectual vistas onto art and architecture, poetry and urbanism. — Ian Volner (Bookforum)Like the city it studies, Portrait with Keys is complex, with vast rewards for the patient reader. — Tracey D. Samuelson (Christian Science Monitor)A wonderful book about Johannesburg....This is a love letter to Johannesburg and a truly marvelous piece of work. I read it and was deeply moved. — Justin Cartwright (Literary Review)A rare, brilliant writer. His work eschews all cant. Its sheer verve, the way it burrows beneath ossified forms of writing, its discipline and the distance it places between itself and the jaded preoccupations of local fiction, distinguish it. — Sunday Times [London]Freshly engaging, with its wry take on security and a homeless underclass that stashes its winter wardrobe in manholes beneath Africa’s richest city. — Maya Jaggi (The Guardian)A passionate account by a man who loves his city, shocking because it so embraces the things most people try to avoid thinking about. — The Independent [UK]Reminds me sometimes of Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul and sometimes of James Joyce’s Dubliners, but it is altogether one of a kind. . . . He leaves his readers consoled by the feeling that art and goodness alike can be impervious to squalor. — Jan Morris