In a series of interviews conducted between 2006 and 2010, activist and scholar Neville Alexander reflected on how the languages he had used throughout his life shaped his world and his relationships with his immediate and wider communities. A version of these conversations was published in German in 2011 by Drava Verlag. In this reconstruction, the only extensive (auto)biographical work about Alexander in print in English, his belief in the emancipatory potential of multilingualism frames his vividly recalled life and his incisive observations about language in post-apartheid South Africa. He speaks candidly about his childhood in the Eastern Cape, his political awakening and Robben Island incarceration. He also gives an insider's view of how South Africa's post- apartheid language dispensation was shaped. The book also includes some of Alexander's seminal writings on multilingualism, a rewarding yet often neglected aspect of his work.
Brigitta Busch is a professor of applied linguistics at the University of Vienna, Austria. Lucijan Busch lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Karen Press is a Cape Town, south Africa based writer and editor.