A Chain of Voices by Andre Brink
A Novel

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On a farm near the Cape Colony in the early nineteenth century, a slave rebellion kills three and leaves eleven others condemned to death. The rebellion's leader, Galant, was raised alongside the boys who would become his masters. His first victim, Nicholas van der Merwe, might have been his brother.

As the many layers of Andre Brink's novel unfold, it becomes clear that the violent uprising is as much a culmination of family tensions as it is an outcry against the oppression of slavery.

Spanning three generations and narrated in the voices of both the living and the dead, A Chain of Voices is reminiscent of William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!; it is a beautiful and haunting illustration of racism's plague on South Africa.

About Andre Brink

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André Brink is the author of many distinguished novels, some written in English and some self-translated from Afrikaans into English. They include A Dry White Season, Imaginings of Sand, The Rights of Desire and The Other Side of Silence. He has won South Africa's most important literary prize, the CNA Award, three times and has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize (for An Instant in the Wind and Rumours of Rain). Brink is Professor Emeritus in the English Department at the University of Cape Town. He lives in South Africa.

Author Residence: Cape Town, South Africa
Published September 1, 2007 by Sourcebooks Landmark. 515 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Through thin strands of individual narrative by the participating characters (the ""chain of voices""), Brink's novel reconstructs an 1823 up-country South African slave revolt—a revolt that smolders long, flares murderously (on a limited scale), but then is quickly snuffed.

May 13 1982 | Read Full Review of A Chain of Voices: A Novel

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