Short Fiction Highlight: “Bophuthatswana” by Lavie Tidhar

Lavie Tidhar’s South African-set story, “Bophuthatswana”, is now available as a podcast on Pseudopod, read by Elan Ressel.

‘You know what they call people like us in America?’ I say.
Wez looks at me sideways. His pupils are large, his dark hair falling over a delicate oval face. ‘I don’t know, bru. Super-heroes?’
‘No, asshole,’ I say. I take a hit on the spliff and pass it to him. The smoke percolates through my lungs and the definition of light outside grows sharper. Wez is Chinese and lives with him mum down near Bruma Lake. His mum’s a born-again Christian. He is the colour of pine and burnt amber. Beside him, I am Ethiopian Mocha, drunk with cream. ‘They call us “people of colour”.’
Wez takes a toke on the spliff and shakes his head. ‘That’s fucked up, bru.’ The car races down past walled suburban prisons decorated in barbed wire and electronic alarms and “Beware The Dog” signs. ‘Does that mean white people are called “colourless”?’
‘No,’ I say. ‘I think they’re just called people.’

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