An Imperfect Blessing

Nadia Davids

An Imperfect Blessing is a vibrant, funny and moving debut that places one family's story at the heart of a country's rebirth and interrogates issues of faith, race, belonging and freedom.
Date Published :
July 2016
Publisher :
Penguin Random House South Africa
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781415207697
Pages : 416
Dimensions : 8.3 X 5.3 inches
Stock Status : In stock


It is 1993. South Africa is on the brink of total transformation and in Walmer Estate, a busy suburb on the slopes of Devil’s Peak, fourteen-year-old Alia Dawood is about to undergo a transformation of her own. She watches with fascination and fear as the national drama unfolds, longing to be a part of what she knows to be history in the making. As her revolutionary aspirations strengthen in the months before the elections, her intense, radical Uncle Waleed reappears, forcing her parents and sister Nasreen to confront his subversive and dangerous past.

Nadia David’s first novel moves across generations and communities, through the suburbs to the city centre, from the lush gardens of private schools to the dingy bars of Observatory, from landmark mosques and churches to the manic procession of the Cape Carnival, through evictions, rebellions, political assassinations and first loves. The book places one family’s story at the heart of a country’s rebirth and interrogates issues of faith, race, belonging and freedom.

An Imperfect Blessing is a vibrant, funny and moving debut.

About The Author

Nadia Davids is an award-winning writer who works across a range of forms: plays, articles, short stories and screen plays. Her theatre works, including the well-known At Her Feet and Cissie, have been staged in South Africa and abroad, and her writing has appeared in various newspapers and short-story anthologies. She lives between London and Cape Town. An Imperfect Blessing, her first novel, was shortlisted for the 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature.


"Wry, moving, and rich in historical detail, An Imperfect Blessing is a bright, prismatic portrait of a community in transition and a while country, hungry for change, recasting itself.

- Patrick Flanery

"A novel that is sharp in its insights yet warm in feeling."

- J.M. Coetzee

"An exquisite novel."

- Gabeba Baderoon

"A poignant evocation of Cape Town in the last of the apartheid years. With subtlety, compassion, and a brilliant blending of the personal and political, Davids' debut novel traces the lives of a family shaken by the complexities of the struggle."

- Zoe Wicomb

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