An Own Voices story written by a Queer South African author, this coming-of-age/coming-of-queer story looks at navigating the confusion that is intimacy, sex, and identity.
In her debut novel, Dreaming in Color, Uvile Ximba explores with subtlety, humor, and probing insight the connections between the joyful reclaiming of pleasure and the healing of buried traumas.
As students at university of Makhanda, South Africa during the #RUReferenceList campaign, Langa and her lover Khwezi have a passionate and complex relationship. Puzzling gaps in her memory haunt Langa, yet her dreams are vivid with colors and symbols that hint at a nightmare of forgotten violations and losses. So many secrets—and Langa has had enough of secrets and silences. Who can she turn to? Her mother? Her grandmother? Khwezi? Or herself?
Dreaming in Color is Langa's story of coming out to herself, of discerning the history behind the closed door of conscious memory.
About the Author
Uvile Memory Samkelisiwe Ximba is a writer and theater-maker. Her interests lie in issues affecting black LGBTQIA+ women in South Africa. She holds a BA Honors in Politics and International Studies and Dramatic Arts and is the co-founder of multimedia production, Thamba Creatives and her approach to her work is, "Why wait?"
"This debut novel is all kinds of beautiful. It is a coming-if-age story written with prose of unfolding delight. But it isn't flowery. The writing is tight, with little treasures of description nested inside. The book is on quiet bravery. How just being who you are in public, which in this story is a Queer woman, can be both an act of courage and a form of protest. Because while in many areas of the world, LGBTQ+ rights are moving forward, other areas are far behind. Ximba's tale is set in a tricky place where parts of the community are moving forward where other are still clinging on to hate and inflicting trauma. A short read, written with fierce beauty." — —Sunday Times of South Africa
"An elegantly expressed coming-of-age/coming-of-queer treat that tackles the questions: How does one explain gayness to their immediate community, if at all? More importantly, how does one explain their own guilt-ridden subconscious that these feelings of love and desire are just as legitimate as any other, that it is ok to live in one's truth?...Dreaming in Color does not answer these questions for us but rather exposes the reader, through its protagonist, to the bedraggled yet colorful magic of queer life. A pertinent and necessary contribution to current literature."? — —Chwayita Ngamlana, author of If I Stay Right Here
"This story is a cornucopia of queer experiences that looks at navigating the confusion that is intimacy, sex, and identity. A thoughtful take on a timeless story of love, belonging, and a search for self." — —Tiffany Kagure Mugo, author of Quirky Quick Guide to Having Great Sex and curator of Touch: Sex, Sexuality, and Sensuality
"The book elegantly balances themes of trauma, pleasure, and healing." — Autostraddle
"This is a lovingly written debut that punches well above its weight. Set in contemporary South Africa against a backdrop of rape culture protests, the story follows a young woman coming to terms with a forgotten past, a confusing present and a complex future." — Ms. Magazine