Barbara Trapido’s historical novel follows two sisters growing up in South Africa as the apparatus of apartheid repression rolls into the land.

In 1950s South Africa, racial laws are tightening. Dinah and her sister Lisa are two little girls from a dissenting liberal family. Big sister Lisa is strong and sensible, while Dinah is weedy and arty. At school, the sadistic Mrs Vaughan-Jones is providing instruction in racial prejudice and mental arithmetic. As white children with a mixed racial heritage, the sisters must find their own way to work things out.

The Man Booker Prize 2003
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Barbara Trapido

Barbara Trapido

About the Author

There is a large dose of autobiography in Frankie & Stankie, which deals with two sisters growing up in South Africa before one emigrates to England: Trapido was raised in Durban and now lives in Oxford.
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