Amid all the negative stories regarding Afrikaans and Afrikaners in the past 30 years...i hope the world will remember the positive things too, away from the sporting field and Christian Baarnard, literature has given us two afrikaans giants in JM Coetzee and Andre Brink.
Brink,a few years older than Coetzee has been writing for nearly 40 years and this one of his earlier novels is a tremendous work of angst,fear and honesty amid the stormclouds of mid 1970's South Africa. The narrator is no idealistic anti-apartheid campaigner, he is a true Afrikaner, he has made money had some fun. However,from a cold London hotel room he recalls the past decades, the incidents and the bad times that have befallen him and he starts to question who he is and what his country means to him.
This is no story of damascene conversions, Mynhardt suffers a little doubt but it his friends and his family who are his consience, he reacts to their doubts not his. Locations veer from the Eastern Cape in winter, to the crowded streets of Johannesburg. The narrative flits backwards and fowards with a hint of danger at every turn. War on the borders,internal strikes, the afrikaner flight from farms in the Eastern Cape, this isnt a smug narration of satisfied calm.
If you have any interest in South Africa this is well worth a read,in some sections as characters predict a fall of the white regime, you forget this was written in 1978, when the Apartheid regime had another 12 years left to run.