Fiction. African & African American Studies. Women's Studies. Lorato lives a comfortable but lonely life in her retirement years, alone in the home her husband had built in their rural village on the Kalahari in southern Africa. She becomes a grandmother when she adopts Lesedi after the death of a neighbour from HIV-related causes. Then six more children come into Lorato's care, her biological grandchildren. Now primary caregiver for seven grandchildren, she struggles to feed them all, to teach them right from wrong, and traditional ways of life in a world shifting and modernizing. We see how AIDS, as well as cultural changes, disrupts traditional life when Lorato's son dies of the disease. Mpho, Lorato's grown daughter, teaches Lesedi to read, to love learning, and to dream. Lesedi wants nothing more than to go to school like Aunt Mpho and see the world, but providing for Lesedi's education is a challenge. Lorato is concerned about the bullying Lesedi experiences because of the stigma associated with her parents' AIDS death and abandonment. When Lesedi is beaten and raped by a man who felt he could do it because she is an orphan, and who believed that raping a virgin would cure him, Lorato and Lesedi face a real crisis that may forever change the course of their lives.
A. S. Compton's debut book of fiction is A GRANDMOTHER NAMED LOVE (Inanna Publications, 2019). She grew up on her family's inter-generational farm in Ontario and attended the University of Western Ontario, receiving her BA in English and Literature in 2012. Before beginning university, she lived in Botswana, Africa for her gap year, working in HIV awareness and outreach. She is active in fair trade, social justice and empowering youth initiatives. She loves reading and cycling, and still spends much of her spare time on the family farm with her two children. Author City: WATERLOO, ON CAN