What would you do if had to save a cold-blooded killer’s life? What if it fell to you, on any given day, to remain impartial, silent, non-judgmental, professional … stoic? Could you separate your feelings and do your job?
Family was written in the notoriously crime-ridden province of South Africa’s Mpumalanga. Bongi, the writer of the amazing other things amanzi is a general surgeon who was faced with such a choice.
He writes: “They took the old lady into a back room. Two things happened then. The man, left alone, had a chance to unlock his safe and get his own gun out. The criminals, meanwhile, made the woman kneel down and, as a sort of initiation-type thing, one of them put a bullet through her. They then came out of the room, assumably [sic] to do the same to the old man. Imagine their surprise when they walked into a blazing gun.”
What happened next led Bongi down a post-surgical path he’d never walked. While the post is undeniably horrific and sad, it is also honestly written and powerful. It will leave you recalculating — carefully — the meaning of its title: Family.
Review by Mimi Lenox.