When the disease began to spread around the world, and also in Johannesburg where Gregory Davis lived, everyone was ordered into their houses and told to stay there. On the last day of freedom, people scrambled into the supermarkets and bottle-stores and, after standing two metres apart at the tills, emerged heavily laden ...
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This is prizewinning author David Robbins’ twentieth book. Oblique Light is a collection of long short-stories set in Scotland and dealing with the alienation and amorality of self-imposed exile.
In the 1950s a routine underground inspection in a gold mine turns into a horrifying experience for a South African mining engineer.
Charlotte Worthington, a delightfully spirited, red-haired beauty, returns to her beloved aristocratic home farm in Surrey to attend to her dying father. She leaves behind her fiancé, the handsome, debonair, Gareth Silversmith, in London. On her way home, a horseman stranger helps her to rescue a lamb caught in a wire fence. He turns out to be her father’s rugged farm manager, Hamish Oakford.
Theodor, the eighty-five year old protagonist in this engaging short novel, writes of his early years in Johannesburg in the 1930s and 1940s.
The story begins as he remembers how his journey began. It ends with his arrival in the fledgling Israeli state to serve his ancient homeland as a soldier-farmer on an outlying kibbutz. But the main focus is reserved for the often funny and always ironic accounts of the childhood and youth of an intelligent Jewish boy growing up in a dusty mining town in Africa.
Forty years after coming of age in South Africa in the 1960s, the author unearths a forgotten manuscript written at that time. Through rereading this early work, he revisits the political and religious falsehoods that had characterised the context of his genesis as a writer, particularly as revealed by the fictional characters that he then created.
Two women have been damaged by the realities of the time, one crushed by the withering world of Afrikaner urbanisation, the other by the devastating impact of racially defined morality. They bring tragedy and greater maturity to the central character, a young visual artist who falls in love with both these shattered individuals.