THE SETTING SUN AND THE ROLLING WORLD <i> by Charles Mungoshi (Beacon Press: $8.95) </i>
The short stories of Charles Mungoshi offer American readers a rare look at everyday black life in South Africa. His characters are not the courageous leaders of the struggle against apartheid, but ordinary men and women, struggling to survive its frustration and despair. His best stories look beyond the immediate political struggle to basic problems of intercultural and intergenerational conflict. In “The Mountain,” a boy learns that in the dark, ancestral beliefs can conquer his rational, European education; a bitter old man teaches his grandson ancient skills that are fading from the lives of his increasingly Westernized people in “Who Will Stop the Darkness.” His prose captures the inevitable clash between the homogenizing advance of Occidental culture and disappearing traditional life styles.