by Zakes MdaThis is the story of Camagu who returns to South Africa from America. He becomes disillusioned with the new democracy and moves to the Eastern Cape where the Xhosa people live; he follows a woman he heard sing at a funeral. He does not find her but finds a people split between Believers and Unbelievers; two strands of the same family/ancestors. In the nineteenth century a young prophetess commanded the people to destroy their cattle and crops; if they did the ancestors would rise and drive the white people out of the land. The people are split in two groups as described above; a hundred years later their descendants are still at odds. They now argue about a plan to build a casino and tourist resort. Camagu walks into this and becomes embroiled in a love triangle with two women; one from each group.
This is a powerful, funny and tragic story, lovingly and tenderly told. There are shades of Conrad here; from Heart of Darkness; although the concept of Redness is much more complex. It also reminded me of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and there is a strong thread of magic realism. It is a political satire and an examination of South Africa's past and present. I had not read this author before and barely heard of him; a significant gap in my reading and I will make an effort to read more in the future.
This is a magical book; simple and complex and a parable for our times as well as the story of a people.
|Title||The Heart of Redness|
|eBook format||Paperback, (torrent)|
|File size||2.6 Mb|
|Book rating||3.72 (693 votes)