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Rites-of-passage fiction with a difference, from poet and literary journalist Abrahams, who, like his protagonist, was born with cerebral palsy and is a Jewish South African. Consisting of 17 stories that often overlap, the novel is a low-key and rather flat record of Felix Greenspan's struggle to live a full physical and intellectual life. It begins with a hospital stay for four-year-old Felix, the only son of a middle- class family with few cultural interests, and ends as the now 38- year-old Felix is on the brink of a liberating sexual experience. Focusing more on the personal than on the political struggle, apartheid and South African politics are--not unexpectedly--muted presences, mere bit-players in some stories. Felix's childhood is spent in a home for the disabled, where he's bullied by the older boys, falls in love, and after varying treatments is finally able to walk rather than move round on his knees. A first tram-ride to town on his own means that ``giddily triumphant, he was making contact with real life on his own, a stranger among strangers.'' After a few bureaucratic setbacks and an encouraging encounter with an older writer, Felix makes his way to college, which, though filled with beautiful girls, is intellectually disappointing. He drops out, and continues to write while working for his father, but the focus of the remaining pieces is his struggle for sexual autonomy. He makes love to a former classmate, who soon leaves; and prostitutes--he visits Paris in his 20's--are inadequate substitutes. But when his relationship with a suicidal artist ends, he's cheered by a promising correspondence with a woman--the first who's wanted ``to have a really close communication'' with him. For all his suffering and pluck, Felix remains a shadowy and remote figure living out an idea, not a life. A disappointing debut. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
South African poet Abrahams's lyrical coming-of-age novel beautifully evokes the fears, traumas, first loves and wild hopes of growing up. Felix Greenspan courageously overcomes childhood paralysis and copes with epileptic fits while parrying the anti-Semitic taunts of cruel classmates. One of them, a bully named Willem Prinsloo, admires Hitler, whose reign is contemporary with Felix's childhood. Told in 17 interlocking stories, the narrative follows Felix into his 30s, exploring his growth as a writer and his undaunted search for sexual and emotional fulfillment despite a long series of rejections. Skipper Ross, Felix's mentor, imbues him with a philosophy of positive thinking and self-mastery that helps him find direction. But Felix, a spastic, is sexually frustrated and seeks release in frequent visits to brothels. Eventually, he invites a black prostitute back to his parents' home in suburban Johannesburg, a taboo-violating act that risks bringing disgrace down on his family. Felix's doomed romance with delicate, tormented painter Lucilla Maxwell crowns this memorable, sensitive study of spiritual and personal growth.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Bateleur Press, New York, 1977. Couverture souple. Condition: Good. Softcover, 181 Pages. Seller Inventory # 022189
Book Description Bateleur Press, Johannesburg, 1978. Condition: Very Good. Second printing. Trade paperback. Some loss of the spine head, wrappers moderately worn, else very good. Advance Review Copy with publisher's slip tipped in. A novel in 18 stories. Seller Inventory # 388876
Book Description -. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. The celibacy of Felix Greenspan: A novel in 18 stories This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. Seller Inventory # 7719-0620022833
Book Description Bateleur Press, 1977. Soft cover. Condition: Very Good. The wraps are shelf rubbed and a bit creased and marked internally clean and soundly bound.[J.K]. Seller Inventory # pd55
Book Description Bateleur Press, 1978. Soft cover. Condition: Very Good. The wraps are rubbed and marked.Internally clean.Excellent binding.[R.K]. Seller Inventory # vq70
Book Description Bateleur, 1978. Soft cover. Condition: Good. 2nd Edition. The wraps are a bit worn and marked. Internally mostly clean. Soundly bound. Seller Inventory # 801p
Book Description Bateleur, 1977. Soft cover. Condition: Good. 1st Edition. Signed by Author(s)The wraps are a bit worn and marked. Soundly bound - a little cocked. The half-title is missing. signed. Seller Inventory # eu3
Book Description Bateleur Press 01/01/1978, 1978. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Seller Inventory # 6545-0620022833
Book Description distributed by Ravan Press, 1977. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG0620022833