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
Chirs van Wyk was born in Soweto in 1957. He lives and works as a full-time writer in Riverlea, Johannesburg. His previous works include a book of poems which won the Olive Schreiner Award, It Is Time To Go Home (1979); a novel, The Year of The Tapeworm (1998); a biography, Now Listen Here - The Life and Times of Bill Jardine (2003).