Don't Tread on My Dreams

Based on real events, the tales are a rare historical record of the times, reflecting the hopes and dreams of good people of all races, that are only now becoming a reality. The most lyrical story is Nonibe, set on a remote farm in the Eastern Province. It deals with the commonplace violence experienced by young black women, considered at the time to be too mundane to be reported in the press. The house of death, the return and the pig's bladder were inspired by the Pondoland peasant's opposition to the government policy of culling their cattle and confining them to less land, forcing them to work in the towns to avoid starvation. The most dramatic tale is To tell my story, set in Johannesburg and the surrounding farmland. It involves a murder trial. Told first through a white defence advocate and then his black client, it vividly illustrates how the biased legal system could crush a black accused, despite appearing to give him the tools with which to defend himself. In the rebel and the midas touch, Taylor's theme is the alienating and divisive rise of individualism. She describes how, notwithstanding their affluence, rich whites can lose their way. Dora Taylor's powers of observation enable her to conjure up the peace of the veld or the squalor of a shanty town. Although the stories are often heartrendingly tragic, there is always an underlying quality of hope, springing from the author's intense desire that things should improve, an objective to which she devoted her life.