News From Parched Mountain: Tales from the Karoo in the New South Africa

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iUniverse, Oct 23, 2000 - Fiction - 260 pages
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In these stories, which make an important contribution to the literary heritage of South Africa, we have a kind of marriage between P G du Plessis and Herman Charles Bosman. The style is eloquent, the picaresque characters unique and typical at the same time. The writer manages, within the limited space of a short story, to print a picture of his characters' physical attributes as well as their personality traits. There are a number of stories that tell why certain people are the way they are. The content and the style of writing give the stories a delightful South African flavour in the evocative use of appropriate figurative language and symbolism. There is a good balance between narration and dialogue. Settings, where necessary, are vividly described, especially the arid landscape, the farms and the vegetation. The stories are all the more interesting and topical for their pithy comment on the ills of modern society and the allusions to problems in the New South Africa. They make compelling reading, for the outcome of each is invariably unexpected.

The author has written a quartette of stories, the other three titles of the quartette being Pivot of Violence: Tales of the New South Africa, Flakes of Dark and Light: Tales From Southern Africa and Elsewhere; and Just a Bit Touched: Tales of Perspective. All make a very vivid and lasting impression.

 

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Contents

A story that isnt a story
1
As it happened
15
The rejuvenation of Sarah Jacobs
23
AuntTollas lucky dip
38
My name is Caritas
47
Confessions
56
A hard case
66
Fat white woman whom nobody loves
76
Pledges
140
The silent talker
150
The skin game
161
The stroke
173
The smell of Sunday
184
The house that Jacques built
196
Loyalties
214
Photographs
221

An incorrect compassion
90
Motherhood
112
Panache
130
A tale short and sour
233
About the Author
239
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