Uwe Timm (Headhunter, The Invention of Curried Sausage) has been described in The New Yorker as an extraordinary storyteller. In this early novel, he focuses his narrative talents on the historical conflict between German colonists and African tribes under the leadership of the legendary Morenga in the first decade of the 20th century. A daring and brilliant military tactician, Morenga was fluent in several languages and by all reports a man of compassion, intelligence, and integrity, as he led his people towards freedom. Recounted through the eyes of Gottschalk, an engaging fictional military veterinarian, the narrative blends quotations from historical sources with actual accounts of everyday life and military excursions. The parallels between past events and later German history, with its notions of the Untermensch (subhuman beings) and racial inferiortiy, are subtly brought to mind, while significant philosophical, political, and human issues are at play. Morenga is an intriguing novel of scope and significance, and it has been well served by Breon Mitchell's prize-winning translation.
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animals arrived attack bambuse Bansemer Bardowick barrel battle Bethany Bondels brandy bullet camel cannon Cape Colony Cape Town Captain cattle clicks Colonel Deimling Colonial Guard David Christian detachment Dominicus Elschner enemy English eyes Father fire German Gibeon Gorth Gottschalk Gottschalk asked Gottschalk's diary hand Haring head Hendrik Witbooi Hereros horse Hottentots Kageneck Karas Mountains Keetmanshoop kilometers Kleinschmidt Kliigge Klugge Knudsen Koppy Kreft land later living Lukas Major Meisel military mission missionary Morenga morning Morris natives night officers once ordered ostrich oxen patrol Petrus pondoks prisoners pulled rain rebels replied riding rode sand Schwanebach Second Lieutenant seemed shot sitting smell soldiers South West Africa staff standing stared stood strange Sturmann tentots thought tion told traders Treptow Tresckow tribe troopers troops Trotha turned Ukamas Upington veterinarian village wagon Walvis Bay wanted Warmbad water-hole Wenstrup Windhoek wounded Zeisse