This collection of engaging short stories emanates from the Camdeboo region of South Africa’s Karoo. They are told by a traditional African griot (career storyteller), Ndabazabantu, who knows all the gossip about the enigmatic as well as the ordinary folk in his town.
Partly drawn from Mzuvukile’s book, Children from Exile and other Stories (featuring Oom Asval and His Donkey Cart), the stories expose both the struggle to live comfortably in South African townships of old and the harshness of having to deal with the strictures of Apartheid. The Day the Town of Xhogwana almost Collapsed, deals with this second challenge, specifically the prohibition on mixed race relations and degrading treatment of black people under Apartheid’s Group Areas Act; when blacks had to report to the township superintendent’s office when visiting places outside their registered hometowns.
The author, through Ndabazabantu, tells these stories with humour, pathos and poignancy. While Camdeboo Stories is unique in style and content, the tales are somewhat reminiscent of Herman Charles Bosman’s storytelling style and are valuable additions to the stories of the South African platteland.
WHERE THE TRUTH LIES
After a decade in England, William, his daughter Plum and her aunt, Frith, return to South Africa to settle in Paarl. All of them are grieving after the untimely death of Lily, William’s wife, Plum's mother and Frith’s identical twin sister.
William throws himself into restoring North Wind Manor, an Edwardian house, decaying after years of neglect. Frith, unable to come to terms with being a ‘twinless twin’, struggles to keep her promise to Lily, to devote herself to William and Plum in their new lives in South Africa. Plum – eleven years old – lives in her imagination which runs riot when she discovers the diary Charlotte Butler, documenting her tragic life as the wife of a Captain of the British Imperial Yeomanry.
As her aunt and father spiral slowly out of control, Plum is reeled into an obsession with the diary’s author, whom she believes is a spirit inhabiting the manor.
‘Where the Truth Lies’ interweaves between past and present to explore the twisted dynamics of a family brought closer by sorrow, regret, mortality and an understanding that the truth is not always simple.
THE BARTLE LOGIE COLLECTION
Bartle Logie will discuss and present a collection of his books, including those pictured here, and relate some of the incidents and anecdotes which occurred during the research and preparation. Bart's unique style of research, where he and his wife Caryl, get into their bakkie and travel the area to be written about, means that there are many stories of strange encounters, and of comic turns. These Bart delivers in his own inimitable style.