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The Wild Almond Line is a memoir like no other, exploring the complexities of war, racism and culture. Apartheid, the Holocaust, memory, dispossession, and personal and communal responsibility are all threads which unravel slowly as journalist Larry Schwartz tells his, and his family's story.
South Africa was at war. Mostly with itself. The battle was on for the hearts and minds of the white community, and young white men, conscripted to defend the country, were leaving in droves. A reluctant conscript, Schwartz had intended to flee. Instead, he found himself on a troop train, lugging a battered guitar and books on Zen, headed north to a camp outside Pretoria to serve in the odious army of apartheid.
Wry, rueful and evocative, the story alternates between a military and generational saga in which Larry Schwartz traces his family through migration from eastern Europe at the turn of the century, to its experience of a country where black is seperated from white by the wild almond line.
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Larry Schwartz migrated to Australia from South Africa in early 1982. He was born in Cape Town, where he completed degrees in arts and journalism. He has lived in Sydney and Melbourne and worked as a reporter and feature writer at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and currently writes for The Sunday Age.
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