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.
While he ascends into adulthood as a very young member of the Society of Advocates and of the Johannesburg Bar, so the country around him descends into its transformation from a muddled colonial outpost to the ironclad apartheid state it would soon become.
The author insists that the characters described are ‘creatures of the imagination, and nearly all the incidents did not happen’. Nevertheless, the author’s early life and training are remarkably similar to Theodor’s, which brings to this work a perceptiveness and depth of understanding – as well as an incisive wit – that lends a significant authenticity to the texture of the writing.
About the Author:
David Zeffertt has been a soldier, a shepherd, a trade-union organiser, a public servant, an advocate, and, for over for forty years, a professor of law.
He continued full-time lecturing until the age of seventy-two and published his last legal book in his eighties.
He has now turned to writing fiction and studying biblical Hebrew.