October: A Novel

October: A Novel

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 1595589627

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

October: A Novel

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 1595589627

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


“Mercia Murray is a woman of fifty-two years who has been left.” Abandoned by her partner in Scotland, where she has been living for twenty-five years, Mercia returns to her homeland of South Africa to find her family overwhelmed by alcoholism and secrets. Poised between her life in Scotland and her life in South Africa, she recollects the past with a keen sense of irony as she searches for some idea of home. In Scotland, her life feels unfamiliar; her apartment sits empty. In South Africa, her only brother is a shell of his former self, pushing her away. And yet in both places she is needed, if only she could understand what for. Plumbing the emotional limbo of a woman who is isolated and torn from her roots, October is a stark and utterly compelling novel about the contemporary experience of an intelligent immigrant, adrift among her memories and facing an uncertain middle age.

With this pitch-perfect story, the “writer of rare brilliance” (The Scotsman) Zoë Wicomb—who received one of the first Donald Windham–Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes for lifetime achievement—stands to claim her rightful place as one of the preeminent contemporary voices in international fiction.

Black Light (Bob Lee Swagger, Book 2)

The River Between (Penguin Classics)

Voyage au bout de la nuit

Mimesis and Its Romantic Reflections

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pittance they’ll get from the bank will slide straight down Jake’s throat. It’s a disgrace. Whatever will people think of them coming down in the world like this? There is a colony of RDP houses on the horizon stretching eastward from the town’s rubbish dump as far as the eye can see. Only the Gifberge rise beyond it. What amazes Mercia about RDP housing, or rather about the architects of these dwellings, is that in a country where land is plentiful, houses are virtually butted against each

need of comfort? The impossible flashed before her: an older, fictional brother who would touch the top of her head with four fingers, stroke her nape with his thumb, and take her home. Jake’s letter was no doubt written in the early hours, in a struggle with insomnia, with a hangover perhaps, when things get distorted. In which case it was kinder to ignore it. A nuisance that in this day and age Jake did not have e-mail, not since he returned to Kliprand. For all the hastiness of his scribble,

nothing in the world to worry about. Mummy will sort it all out. A little boy can’t help being sick, the greedy lion cubs too have been sick, and that’s because like the hungry caterpillar they’ve eaten too much—one piece of chocolate cake, one ice cream cone, one pickle, and he recited along between sobs: one cherry pie, one sausage, until the voice became inaudible as his face, Mercia imagined, was squashed into the woman’s bosom. Sweetheart, my sweetheart, sang the maternal voice,

let into your own heart, that you allowed its crabbing into your organs. Why else had Antoinette said nothing of her pain? Why had she not allowed him to gather Jantjie Bêrend that grew in abundance all around, the cancer bush that would certainly have cured her? Never again would he put his faith in a woman. Mercia woke to the clatter of Craig opening the wooden shutters. Sad October light flooded in, licking the corners of the room. Pulling the duvet over her head, she buried her face in the

remembered the Afrikaans word. So you’d rather have the good old pub, hey! Let’s remember that Scottish pub food is disgusting. And whoever’s heard of sandwiches without butter? That’s what you get these days. In the icy sunlight they set out through the city, on to the open road where the hills rose in the distance, the Dumgoyne a sharply outlined lump clad in tweedy autumnal color. They argued about the window. Craig said it had to be open, to savor the loveliness of the autumnal day, of the

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