Etienne van Heerden Ancestral Voices

ISBN 13: 9780749001070

Ancestral Voices

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9780749001070: Ancestral Voices

The Moolmans are a tribe who have long since learned how to deal with their own. Parents cut children out of their lives, shunt them aside to live as step-children, scrag-ends of the clan, or as city dwellers whose names are never uttered.

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Language Notes:

Text: English
Original Language: Afrikaans

From Kirkus Reviews:

The first US publication for acclaimed South African writer van Heerden: a subtle but powerful indictment of Afrikanerdom in which metaphysics, magic realism, and a conventional mystery all combine to brilliant effect. When someone shoots little Noah Pisani, the illegitimate son of Crazy Tilly Moolman, in full view of the Moolman clan--who've gathered around the borehole into which Noah has fallen--a magistrate must be sent to investigate the death because no one will talk. As the magistrate begins his questioning, he learns the history of the Moolman family--a history that can serve in many respects for all Afrikanerdom. Founder Abel Moolman, escaping British rule, found this well-watered land under Toorberg (Enchanted Mountain) and established a magic kingdom where everything flourished and the outside world was kept at bay. But while Noah's death and the question of the family's complicity are at the heart of the story, the enchanted life is already imperiled. Not only have the famous springs run dry, but the Moolman family- -headed by Abel and his wife, the beautiful Ella--are facing threats on all sides. Their son and heir, CrossAbel, is sterile; their daughter is mad; and their mixed-race cousins, the descendants of Uncle Floris Moolman, led by Preacher Oneday (One day the liberation will come) are involved in antiapartheid politics. As the magistrate comes to understand what happened and why, he is observed by the mysterious Malay, a wizard, and by a host of dead Moolmans who haunt the farm--the ancestral voices of the title--``even if they are bitter and rejected they are still here, they can still wake up in the morning and look up at the crown of Toorberg and think: We belong here.'' But for the living, the world has now come to Toorberg and will not go away. With a range of fully realized characters and writing that is both eloquent and luminous: a remarkable portrait of a people and their land in the recent present. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Etienne van Heerden
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