Living, Loving and Lying Awake at Night is a collection of short stories divided into two parts. The first part is a circle of related, gossipy black South African women working as domestic servants for whites. The pieces emphasize the diverse personalities of each woman, and are written in first person in a conversation with one of the other women. The second part encompasses several common short stories set in the 60s through the late 80s, during the Apartheid system in South Africa. The stories are depressing, often heartbreaking, and powerful.