A personal tragedy leads Zoe to face her family’s dark secret while she’s struggling with the self-reproach for her country’s shameful past. A scientific expedition into the hot plains of the Kalahari Desert sets Zoe on a path of atonement and self-discovery that will allow her to reclaim her identity and meet some memorable characters – among them, a troubled writer, a Bushman shaman and a Border War veteran.
About the Book
"Arianna Dagnino's transcultural novel of a young woman's struggle torecover from the brutal killing of her lover, cope with her family'stragic past and find her way in post-Apartheid South Africa, is bothmoving and memorable. Dagnino, drawing on her years as a journalist inSouth Africa, de-layers the country's conflicts, introduces some remarkable characters and takes the reader on a spellbinding journey."
– Ian Thomas Shaw, author of Quill of the Dove-Ottawa Review of Books
“The text thoughtfully sharpens our awareness of the mingled yarns that create individual identities.”
– Dr. Michael Hattaway, New York University in London
“Quite amazing and intriguing that I identified with Zoe in so many ways … and have lived parts of her imaginary life for real. Well done with your portrayal of this character. You have the gift, that’s for sure.”
– Dr. Saskia Water, South African palaeontologist
"North Americans have gleaned a deeper awareness of South Africa through Alan Paton’s Cry the Beloved Country, Sir Laurens Jan van der Post, Nadine Gordimer and J.M. Coetzee. We’ve also seen Invictus or A Dry White Season or Richard Attenborough’s Cry Freedom about Stephen Biko, the man that Nelson Mandela described as “the spark that lit a veld fire across South Africa.” The Afrikaner deserves its place in that pantheon."
– Alan Twigg, BC BookLook
“A clever, fresh and widely resonating novel whose international, globalizing streak rescues us from stale and overly provincial atmospheres.”
– Dr. Carlo Testa, The University of British Columbia
“Arianna Dagnino’s transcultural novel transports the reader into the complex and potentially dangerous world of its protagonist within sensually rich descriptions of southern Africa. Dagnino’s experiential immersion in her topic is obvious in the detailed and nuanced familiarity she evokes with the various cultural groups that form the basis of her characters. Rarely does one encounter a novelist who can articulate so deftly the multiple perspectives that are at the heart of the changing sociological landscape of a place such as postcolonial South Africa. As one whose forebears were among the first Cape colonists, I found Dagnino’s The Afrikaner to be eerily compelling.”
– Dr. Kathryn Pentecost, freelance author, blogger, arts producer
"After Zoe enters the Karoo, I had to keep reading [...] Set in a South Africa trying to adjust to the recent end of apartheid, The Afrikaner is the compelling story of a fossil-hunter haunted by her family curse. Wise in the ways of paleoanthropology, viticulture, history, and the complex choreography of Boer, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Bushmen, and others, Arianna Dagnino's novel fulfills its protagonist's vision of art: 'Imagination in motion'."
– Steven G. Kellman, University of Texas at San Antonio
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