Here is something from the New Yorker's blog that I found interesting. Hope you do, too:
JOHANNESBURG - As a bookish child, Mark Gevisser played a game he has retroactively calledDispatcher in which he would plot routes in his parents’ street guide, the Holmden’s Register of Johannesburg, using the index to place names.
“Inevitably, the Dispatcher took me to places I was not meant to go,” he writes, recalling the time he stumbled across one of the few African names - let’s call him Mphahlele, M - in the book and discovered that the address was only two pages away from where he and his family lived on page 77.But his family lived in the upmarket and “whites only” suburb of Sandton while Mphahlele, M was in the neighboring black township of Alexandra, separated by only two pages and a stream but worlds apart.
Gevisser says there was no way of steering his imaginary courier from page 77 to page 75 as “Sandton simply ended at its eastern boundary, the Sandspruit stream, with no indication of how one might cross it, or even that page 75 was just on the other side”.
Lost and Found in Johannesburg combines Gevisser’s memoirs of growing up in this segregated environment with a biography of his hometown. Along the way it maps his family's Lithuanian Jewish past with his own journey of sexual self-awakening as he realized he was gay.