A Chain of Voices
By (author) Andre Brink
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Chain of Voices by Andre Brink
Book DescriptionIt is 1825 and high in the mountains of South Africa a group of slaves stand accused of the murder of their owner, Nicolass van der Merwe, a wealthy Afrikaner farmer. Galant, the van der Merwe family's chief hand, is held leader of the murderous band. Raised with the two sons of the house, it was not until adulthood and rivalry over Hester, orphaned daughter of a tenant farmer, that he realised their different roles, their unequal futures and opposed stations in life. "A Chain Of Voices" stands as a prophetic lesson - when hopes of freedom from slavery are dashed, and when promises of equal treatment are broken, an escalating spiral of bitterness, resentment, and finally, explosive violence is inevitable.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780749396367
(198mm x 129mm x 4mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 16-Jan-1995
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Andre Brink
Philida, Paperback (February 2013)
The year is 1832 and Cape is rife with rumours about liberation of slaves. Philida is the mother of four children by Francois Brink, the son of her master. Francois has reneged on his promise to set her free and his father has ordered him to marry a white woman from a prominent family, selling Philida on to owners in harsh country in the north.
Fork in the Road, Paperback (April 2010)
Tells the story of a life lived in tumultuous times. In this title, the author describes with searing honesty his conflicting experiences of growing up in a world where innocence was always surrounded by violence and storytelling was a means of reconciling the stark contrasts of his world.
Praying Mantis, Paperback (August 2006)
In his early years, growing up on a Dutch farm in the deep interior of the southern African Cape, Cupido Cockroach became the greatest drinker, liar, fornicator, and fighter of his region. Coming under the spell of a woman, and Dr Johannes Theodorus van der Kemp of the London Missionary Society, Cupido is then made the first Hottentot missionary.
Before I Forget, Paperback (September 2005)» View all books by Andre Brink
It is on New Year's Eve, courtesy of his stalled car, that he meets Rachel, a young sculptress who becomes the great love of his life, a love greater for being unfulfilled. This book presents the history of a life set against the history of a nation, and the history of a transforming love.
US Kirkus Review » Through thin strands of individual narrative by the participating characters (the "chain of voices"), Brink's novel reconstructs an 1823 up-country South African slave revolt - a revolt that smolders long, flares murderously (on a limited scale), but then is quickly snuffed. The van der Merwe family, Afrikans farmers, are the slave owners: old, dictatorial Piet; chip-off-the-old-block son Berend; meeker second son Nicolaas. But when Berend marries Hester, a girl who has been taken in by the family as a ward, Nicolaas - who pines for her - must settle instead for the prissy, pious Cecelia. So, for restless Nicolaas, sex is only possible with slave women - especially with the consorts of Galant, a slave whom Nicolaas grew up with almost as a brother. And Nicolaas' frustrated rage, which ebbs and peaks, will lead to the maltreatment (even the death) of Galant's children - and to the revolt, which is shown to arise from intertwined personal and social causes. Brink (Rumours of Rain, A Dry White Season) does an impressive job throughout in knitting the intimacy between owners and slaves, in showing motives uncamouflaged; each flogging is like yet one more knife thrown into a dangerous and dark bag whose seams bulge ominously. Less impressive, however, is the narrative structure: the voices of the title don't really link as a chain - they bite like small tacks. And, as in William Styron's not dissimilar Confessions of Nat Turner, the theme here - the sex/politics interface - often seems too simplistic in its determinism. So: a somewhat contrived historical reconstruction - but, like Brink's other work, admirably ambitious and fully, thoughtfully fictionalized. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Andre Brink
Andre Brink (1935 - 2015) was one of South Africa's most prominent writers and is the author of several novels, including A Dry White Season, Imaginings of Sand, The Rights of Desire, The Other Side of Silence and Philida. He has won South Africa's most important literay prize, the CNA Award, three times and has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His last novel, Philida, was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2012.
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