On a farm near the Cape Colony in the early nineteenth century, a slave rebellion kills three and leaves eleven others condemned to death. The rebellion’s leader, Galant, was raised alongside the boys who would become his masters. His first victim, Nicholas van der Merwe, might have been his brother.
As the many layers of Andre Brink’s novel unfold, it becomes clear that the violent uprising is as much a culmination of family tensions as it is an outcry against the oppression of slavery.
Spanning three generations and narrated in the voices of both the living and the dead, A Chain of Voices is reminiscent of William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!; it is a beautiful and haunting illustration of racism’s plague on South Africa.
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Cruelty and passion are evoked in this luminous story of a slave rebellion set in a remote part of South Africa in 1825. At its heart is the confrontation between two men: one white, the other black; one master, the other a slave; two brothers joined as friends and torn asunder as adults in their tragic struggle for freedom. Based on the actual slave revolt and published simultaneously in Afrikaans and English, A Chain of Voices spans three generations of the living and the dead.
“The story...will inevitably evoke comparisons with William Styron’s The Confessions of Nat Turner, a work to which it is substantially superior in insight and artistry.”
-Julian Moynahan, New York Times Book Review
“A Chain of Voices is the truest and most provocative study of existential rebellion since the publication in 1951 of Camus’s seminal work, The Rebel. Like Camus, Brink reminds us that no matter the human condition, there remains within an indomitable spark bursting to be free, a spirit which may in the end be able to abide physical slavery but never mental imprisonment.”
-News and Observer Raleigh
“Brink is a good storyteller, adept at the selection and building of detail and the pacing of a momentum which sweeps the reader to its climax.”
“A Chain of Voices is a broadside of a book...It has much to say about the universality of oppression and the equally ubiquitous striving for freedom.”
André Brink is one of South Africa's most eminent novelists. He is the author of seventeen works of fiction, has been twice shortlisted for the Booker prize and is an outspoken recorder of South Africa's turbulent history from the days of apartheid to the present.
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Book Description Morrow, 1982. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110688011314