Released on 01 January 2015.

Read extract

Shirley, Goodness and Mercy

4.12 based on 192 ratings & 21 reviews on


Despite Van Wyk's later becoming involved in the anti-apartheid 'struggle', this is not a book about racial politics. Instead, it is a delightful account of one boy's special relationship with the relatives, friends and neighbours - often decidedly quirky - who made up his community, and of the important coping role laughter and humour played during the years he spent in bleak, dusty townships.

In Shirley, Goodness & Mercy, Chris van Wyk has created a truly remarkable record of life in the Coloured community at once both informative and vastly entertaining.

'A lovely book; well told and beautifully executed' Cape Times

'Well worth waiting for, this is a memoir not to miss' Sunday Independent

'Van Wyk's strength is to look at the world as if with the innocent eyes of a child and to convey this hopeful vision to others' Sowetan

'An authentic and important contribution to South African literature; it is also an entertaining social document of a specific community.' Mail and Guardian