Author: Herman Charles Bosman
Release Date: 2011-10-07
These slyly simple stories of the unforgiving South African Transvaal reveal a little-described (and rarely romanticized) world of Afrikaner life in the late 19th Century. Like our own Mark Twain, Herman Charles Bosman wields a laughing intolerance of foolishness and prejudice, a dazzling use of wit and clear- sighted judgment. Spun by the plainclothes local visionary and storyteller Oom Shalk Lourens, these moving and satirical glimpses of lethargic herdsmen, ambitious concertina players, legendary leopards and mambas, and love-struck dreamers lay bare immense emotions, contradictions, and mysteries within the smallest movements and unadorned talk of the Groot Marico District. Leading oral tradition by the hand into a territory all his own, Bosman maps a world at once lucid and layered, distant yet powerfully familiar.
Author: Herman Charles Bosman
Publisher: Human & Rosseau
Release Date: 2006-01-01
Genre: Lourens, Oom Schalk (Fictitious character)
In one volume for the first time, the entire sequence of Bosman's famous Oom Schalk Lourens stories. Edited from authoritative sources, and accompanied by original illustrations, this gathering represents a feast of South Africa's best-loved tales. The sixty pieces include all-time favourites like In the Withaak's Shade, Makapan's Caves and Willem Prinsloo's Peach Brandy, the Boer War classics Mafeking Road and The Rooinek, as well as several lesser-known treasures.
Seminar paper from the year 2009 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1.0, University of Duisburg-Essen, course: South African Cultural Studies, language: English, abstract: In his current popularity, Herman Charles Bosman has come to be viewed as something of an "eternal artist" figure, conveying "marvellous home-truths for all men" (Gray 1977:79). But the truth about the later Bosman is that he became a writer who had a scrupulous, instant understanding with each passing day and each yard of newspaper that underwent his professional scrutiny. Stephen Gray suggests "that he [Bosman] meant himself to be taken as [...] a commentator, a newspaper columnist, whose medium happened to be fiction" thus drawing attention to the underlying truths of South Africa (ibid.). By debunking the myth of Boer bravery during the second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) in his short story "Mafeking Road," Bosman touches upon a subtle theme extant amongst the Boer community, namely extreme Afrikaner patriotism (Wenzel 1999:109-110).
Author: Robert Sheckley
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Release Date: 2012-05-01
An NYRB Classics Original Robert Sheckley was an eccentric master of the American short story, and his tales, whether set in dystopic cityscapes, ultramodern advertising agencies, or aboard spaceships lighting out for hostile planets, are among the most startlingly original of the twentieth century. Today, as the new worlds, alternate universes, and synthetic pleasures Sheckley foretold become our reality, his vision begins to look less absurdist and more prophetic. This retrospective selection, chosen by Jonathan Lethem and Alex Abramovich, brings together the best of Sheckley’s deadpan farces, proving once again that he belongs beside such mordant critics of contemporary mores as Bruce Jay Friedman, Terry Southern, and Thomas Pynchon.
Sindiwe Magona's novel Mother to Mother explores the South African legacy of apartheid through the lens of a woman who remembers a life marked by oppression and injustice. Magona decided to write this novel when she discovered that Fulbright Scholar Amy Biehl, who had been killed while working to organize the nation's first ever democratic elections in 1993, died just a few yards away from her own permanent residence in Guguletu, Capetown. She then learned that one of the boys held responsible for the killing was in fact her neighbor's son. Magona began to imagine how easily it might have been her own son caught up in the wave of violence that day. The book is based on this real-life incident, and takes the form of an epistle to Amy Biehl's mother. The murderer's mother, Mandisi, writes about her life, the life of her child, and the colonized society that not only allowed, but perpetuated violence against women and impoverished black South Africans under the reign of apartheid. The result is not an apology for the murder, but a beautifully written exploration of the society that bred such violence.
Author: Etienne van Heerden
Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa
Release Date: 2012-09-27
In the wild night hours, or during the heat of the day - whenever man's thoughts whirl feverishly - then truth and fantasy, the past and the future, life and death are indiscriminately mingled on Toorberg, home of the Moolman family. So the magistrate is to learn as he investigates the strange circumstances of the death of little Noah, child of grief, who was not entirely of this world. Every day the case becomes more complex, until it challenges the very foundations of the law. It seems as if the magistrate will have to judge an entire dynasty, both the living and the dead. Everyone's guilt has to be affirmed, or denied, and this means he will have to rip open the lives of all. The Moolmans are a tribe who have long since learned how to deal with their own. Parents cut children out of their lives, shunt them aside to live as stepchildren, scrag-ends of the clan, or as city-dwellers whose names are never uttered. The Moolmans cannot forgive; not when their tribal blood is betrayed.
Author: O. Henry
Publisher: The Floating Press
Release Date: 2012-02-01
Though American short story master O. Henry is best known for his surprise plot twists and trick endings, the philosophical complexity of his work is also a feature that the author's fans admire. The stories in this collection tackle some of the most persistent mysteries of life, all while maintaining the engaging, thrill-a-minute pace that was O. Henry's stock in trade.
All-new stories about the food we share, love, and fight over from the national bestselling author of Cod and Salt. In these linked stories, Mark Kurlansky reveals the bond that can hold people together, tear them apart, or make them become vegan: food. Through muffins or hot dogs, an indigenous Alaskan fish soup, a bean curd Thanksgiving turkey or potentially toxic crème brulee, a rotating cast of characters learns how to honor the past, how to realize you're not in love with someone any more, and how to forgive. These women and men meet and eat and love, leave and drink and in the end, come together in Seattle as they are as inextricably linked with each other as they are with the food they eat and the wine they drink. Kurlansky brings a keen eye and unerring sense of humanity to these stories. And throughout, his love and knowledge of food shows just how important a role what we eat plays in our lives.
In this flawless novella, Mona Simpson turns her powers of observation toward characters who, unlike Ann and Adele August in her bestselling Anywhere but Here, choose to stay rather than go. As a high school student in Green Bay, Bea Maxwell raised money for good causes; later, she became a successful real estate agent and an accomplished knitter. The one thing missing from her life is a romantic relationship. She soon settles comfortably into the role of stylish spinster and do-gooder. Woven into Bea's story are stories of other lifelong residents of Green Bay and the changes time brings to a town and its residents. This pure and simple work once again proves Mona Simpson one of the defining writers of her generation. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Sebastian Faulks
Publisher: Vintage Books
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Short stories
In this unique and compelling anthology, Sebastian Faulks has collected the best fiction about war in the 20th century. Ranging from the First World War to the Gulf War, these stories depict a soldier`s experience from call-ups battle and comradship to leave, hospital and trauma in later life. Truely international in scope, this anthology includes stories by Erich Maria Remarque and Pat Barker, Issac Babel and Ernest Hemingway , Heinrich Boll and Norman Mailer, JG Ballard and Tim O`Brian Julian Barnes and Louis de Barnieres. Together they form a powerful and moving evocation of the horors of war.
"The Unrest-Cure"is a short story by Saki. Saki's recurring hero Clovis Sangrail, a sly young man, overhears the complacent middle-aged Huddle complaining of his own addiction to routine and aversion to change. Huddle's friend makes the wry suggestion of the need for an "unrest-cure" (the opposite of a rest cure) to be performed, if possible, in the home. Clovis takes it upon himself to "help" the man and his sister by involving them in an invented outrage that will be a "blot on the twentieth century." Hector Hugh Munro (18 December 1870 - 13 November 1916), better known by the pen name Saki, and also frequently as H. H. Munro, was a British writer whose witty, mischievous and sometimes macabre stories satirized Edwardian society and culture. He is considered a master of the short story and often compared to O. Henry and Dorothy Parker. Influenced by Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll, and Kipling, he himself influenced A. A. Milne, Noel Coward, and P. G. Wodehouse. Beside his short stories (which were first published in newspapers, as was customary at the time, and then collected into several volumes), he wrote a full-length play, The Watched Pot, in collaboration with Charles Maude; two one-act plays; a historical study, The Rise of the Russian Empire, the only book published under his own name; a short novel, The Unbearable Bassington; the episodic The Westminster Alice (a Parliamentary parody of Alice in Wonderland), and When William Came, subtitled A Story of London Under the Hohenzollerns, a fantasy about a future German invasion of Britain. Mary was the daughter of Rear Admiral Samuel Mercer; and her nephew, Cecil William Mercer, became a famous writer as Dornford Yates. Charles Munro was an Inspector-General for the Burmese Police. In 1872, on a home visit to England, Mary was charged by a cow; and the shock caused her to miscarry. She never recovered and soon died. Charles Munro sent his children, including two-year-old Hector, to England, where they were brought up by their grandmother and aunts in a strict puritanical household. Munro was educated at Pencarwick School in Exmouth, Devon and at Bedford School. On a few occasions, when he retired, Charles travelled with Hector and his sister to fashionable European spas and tourist resorts. In 1893, Hector followed his father into the Indian Imperial Police, where he was posted to Burma (like George Orwell a generation later). Two years later, having contracted malaria, he resigned and returned to England. At the start of World War I, although 43 and officially over-age, Munro refused a commission and joined 2nd King Edward's Horse as an ordinary trooper, later transferring to 22nd Battalion, the Royal Fusiliers, where he rose to the rank of lance sergeant. More than once he returned to the battlefield when officially still too sick or injured. In November 1916, when sheltering in a shell crater near Beaumont-Hamel, France, during the Battle of the Ancre he was killed by a German sniper. His last words, according to several sources, were "Put that bloody cigarette out!" After his death, his sister Ethel destroyed most of his papers and wrote her own account of their childhood. Munro was homosexual; but, at that time in the U.K., sexual activity between men was a crime. The Cleveland Street scandal (1889), followed by the downfall of Oscar Wilde (1895), meant that "that side of [Munro's] life had to be secret." Politically, Munro was a Tory and somewhat reactionary in his views.