Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xiv

I hope to err neither on the side of thanking too few people nor of thanking too many. Long lists of acknowledgments, while generous, often unintentionally dilute the contributions of those most deserving of recognition. Lists too short can slight and leave the...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-28

Apartheid was good for no one, but there was nobody for whom it was worse than African women. The government’s discriminatory policies weighed more heavily upon them than on any other group, limiting their financial and personal options and leaving...

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One: Getting to Know the Corners

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pp. 29-53

From barren ostrich farms in the Northern Cape, from small Transvaal towns where a person had to step off the sidewalk when a white adult approached, from crowded resettlement camps where the dispossessed squeezed onto the slivers of land...

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Two: The Tempo of Kitchen Life

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pp. 54-89

At the sound of her alarm, Rose—the name she used in the city, since few whites would make even an effort to pronounce Nkululeko— lifted herself from her narrow bed. She groped for the clock to stop the harsh ringing. There, blessed silence, at least for...

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Three: Children and Leaving

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pp. 90-111

Children deserve their own chapter. African or white, present or absent—they, more than anything else, set the stage for a woman’s emotional experience of domestic work and colored the way she regarded the things and scenes around her. The...

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Four: Come in the Dark

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pp. 112-137

Dark, cloudy nights were best. Or those evenings when the moon was so new it appeared as a tiny sliver against the black sky. Wind, too, was good, because howling and the sound of branches scraping on window panes could drown out other...

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Five: House Rules

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pp. 138-163

White South Africans had a problem. Middle-class Johannesburgers depended on African labor to give them practical help and social status by maintaining their homes and looking after them and their families. To do their jobs well, workers needed...

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Six: From Homes with Apartheid

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pp. 164-182

Imagine a middle-class house in the Northern Suburbs in the 1960s. Place nothing extraordinary in the scene, no unusual architectural features or exotic pets or idiosyncratic art hanging on the walls. The house can be either one-story or two-, on...

Notes

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pp. 183-196

Bibliography

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pp. 197-216

Index

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pp. 217-230