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One Woman’s Search for Her African Ancestors
Pamela Mills

With an introduction by Maria Brandt, Editor

In 1993, after two years of preparation, Pamela Mills left the United States to return to South Africa and record what she could of her ancestors. As she interviewed family members and chronicled daily life in Kamastone, however, her purpose evolved. As such, Kamastone is as much the documentary of a family who experienced an unusual cultural position in apartheid-driven South Africa as it is a glimpse into one woman’s narrative reconciliation with herself. Both make Kamastone invaluable to those interested in the history of South Africa, as well as to those interested in the relationship between memory, narrative, and what it means to come home.

“Pam Mills’ memoir opens a window onto a relatively unknown area of South Africa and a family with a fascinating history of both black and white ancestors.” —Anne Serafin, co-editor of African Women Writing Resistance: Contemporary Voices “Crisp and invigorating… I’m stung afresh by the loss of Pam Mills (too soon…), but also stung by the beauty, her clear eyes, the imaginative generosity and psychological complexity of her writing, reminiscent of James Agee, whose work she adored.” —Todd Hearon, author of Strange Land “A complex and passionate work, Kamastone takes the reader on a journey of reclamation as Mills sifts through fragments of memory, interviews, letters and other creative imaginings to offer a story of South Africa few have known. Her voice, raw and authentic, details an intricate yet beautiful world so often overshadowed by violence and unrest.”

—Cathryn Smith, author of The Glory Walk