Troy Blacklaws's acclaimed debut novel is the remarkable story of a boy coming of age in the wake of tragedy
When his twin brother dies in a freak accident, Douglas's life begins to unravel. His mother leaves his father, taking Douglas with her to live in the Karoo region, a harsh desert landscape that is a far cry from Cape Town and the seaside life Douglas has always known. In this small village that is wary of outsiders, he makes two friends who change his life forever: a beautiful girl named Marika and an old man named Moses. Immersed in rich language and vivid detail, and set against the backdrop of 1970s South Africa, "Karoo Boy" is the story of a young man finding his way in the midst of chaos and loss.
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Troy Blacklaws is a South African writer whose work uses the lens of his own boyhood to illuminate the reality of living under apartheid. After moving from Natal, South Africa, to the Cape with his family at the age of nine, Blacklaws learned the truth behind the divisions in his country, first as a student at Paarl Boys High and then as a draftee for the army, where he spent two bitter years as an objector. Shortlisted for the Prix Femina for "Karoo Boy", Blacklaws is a graduate of Rhodes University and has taught at international schools in Frankfurt, Vienna, and Singapore. He now lives and teaches in Luxembourg.From Publishers Weekly:
Death divides a Cape Town family in Blacklaws's evocative but frustrating debut. The story, set in 1976 but narrated in a terse, foreboding and sometimes baffling present tense, begins with 14-year old Douglas Thomas's father accidentally killing his other son, Marsden (Douglas's twin), with an errant cricket pitch. Family disintegration follows: Douglas's father announces that he is "going away," and his mother decides that they're moving to Karoo—a "foreign, far, flat and bleak" place. In Karoo, Douglas befriends Moses, an old black man who works at the gas station and who cannot leave the area because his papers have been stolen. Between italicized flashbacks to Marsden and Sundays with Moses retooling a broken-down Volvo (they both dream of driving back to the ocean), Douglas falls for a girl named Marika. The novel zigzags between vivid descriptive passages and sudden bursts of violence that recall the social and political nightmare that was 1970s South Africa. The historical realities feel out of focus, however, and the characters' motives are often unclear. Though this is a coming-of-age tale, readers will be startled to learn that Douglas, when he finally returns to the seaside alone, is 18; this, along with the other narrative hinges in the story, feels sloppily handled for the sake of a rather ersatz lyrical style. (Sept.)
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Book Description Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. No.1 BESTSELLERS - great prices, friendly customer service â€" all orders are dispatched next working day. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000491371
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