Local authors cover a wide and fascinating range of subjects.
Being prescribed the wrong antidepressant can do strange things to a mind – which is why Magrieta Prinsloo clashes with her colleagues, insults the head of her department and impulsively resigns from her job. In Ingrid Winterbach’s The Troubled Times of Magrieta Prinsloo, Magrieta accepts a position with the Bureau of Continuing Education. There, during her frequent business trips, she encounters a bizarre range of colleagues, people in wheelchairs and whales all of which takes her life on a radically different tangent. When her boss disappears, matters become even more complicated. Human & Rousseau, R295.
Highly mobile South African troops played a major role in dislodging the Italian forces from Abyssinia and Somalia in East Africa in 1941. Military historian David Brock Katz has detailed the untold story of the desert war in South Africans versus Rommel. In November 1941 German General Erwin Rommel decimated the South African force at Sidi Rezegh in northern Libya. They fought back and captured Bardia and Sollum, but Rommel drove the British and South Africans back to Tobruk where the troops, including 10 000 South African soldiers, eventually surrendered. However, at El Alamein, the South Africans held fast. The author’s research shows how Britain’s clumsy operational conduct of the desert war cost the South Africans dearly and re-examines South Africa’s role at Sidi Rezegh, Tobruk and El Alamein. Riveting reading for history buffs. Delta Books, R287.
Karabo grows up in Mthatha where she’s hurtfully called Yellowbone because of her unusually light skin. When her parents argue, she doesn’t realise the question of her paternity is the cause. Karabo obtains a scholarship that takes her to London to study architecture. At a recital she meets violin virtuoso André Potgieter, whose instrument is an antique he believes allows angels to visit him – a secret he came to London to hide. André would do anything to keep seeing them and events at his recital cause Karabo to run away to Ghana – but her plans go horribly wrong. In Yellowbone, Ekow Duker explores the universal themes of justice, identity, deceit and truth. Kwela, R320.
Award-winning writer, Fred Khumalo, has a great gift for telling stories about real people. Talk of the Town is a vibrant collection of a dozen short stories written over many years. By turns funny and gut-wrenching, the stories are about identity and belonging, about South Africans living abroad during apartheid and foreigners living in South Africa, as well as tales of past and current township life. As a ‘reality show’ this book is better than anything you’re likely to see on TV. Kwela, R260.
Cycling enthusiasts know all about the childhood joy of first managing to balance on, and ride, a bike. Also, of course, the agony of pedalling up a steep incline, the pain of a crash and … best of all … the freedom of wheeling along happily with the wind in your face and not a care in the world. Paul Fournel captures all these feelings and more in Need for the Bike. He recounts with a poet’s passion the sights, sounds, smells of riding with friends or alone, finding things on the road, getting lost and rediscovering favourite routes. Anyone who has ever delighted in the whirr of the wheels as the spokes spin round, will enjoy this book. Pursuit Books, R253.