The Expedition to the Baobab Tree
Coetzee, J M(translated By) and Stockenstrom, Wilma
Paperback $19.99 - Faber
Fiction - Published: 1/Apr/2019 - ISBN: 9780571347742
A powerful fable originally published by Faber in 1983, translated by Nobel laureate and two-time Booker prize winner J. M. Coetzee. Wearily, I take the path to the river, there in the cool to fill my being with the sounds of my sister-being, to refresh myself in the modest scents of pigeonwood and mitzeerie, to let my gaze end in a tangle of monkey ropes and fern arches and the slowly descending leaves, and to find rest, all day long, all night long.
A young slave girl accompanies her owner on an expedition into the African interior in search of a mythical city. In unfamiliar terrain, the party gets lost. One by one, our narrator's companions disappear, leaving her to take refuge in the hollow of a baobab tree. There, she finds the space and will to reflect upon her life's journey, telling her story to the boabab itself. This powerful fable, translated from Wilma Stockenstrom's original Afrikaans by Nobel Prize-winner J. M. Coetzee, is a remarkable portrait of dislocation and empowerment. It is also a brilliant insight into Cotezee's craft as a writer. Wilma Stockenstrom is a well-established poet, novelist and dramatist, as well as a professional actress, appearing on stage, television and in film. She was born on 7 August 1933 in the small village of Napier in the wheat-growing Southern Cape. She obtained a BA degree in drama from the University of Stellenbosch in 1952. After a year of broadcasting in Cape Town, she moved to Pretoria, where she lived for many years, working as an actress for the stage and television. She and her husband, the linguist Ants Kirsipuu, settled in Cape Town in 1993, where she still lives after his death early in 2003.
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