Of Beasts and Beings by Ian Holding

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In this searing and timely novel, the devastating effects of a country's economic and moral collapse provide the backdrop for a story about individual fortitude and conscience. In an unnamed African republic, militiamen seize an innocent captive while he is scavenging for food in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. He is subsequently traded and ransomed and ends up in the hands of another group, whose members include a pregnant woman whom he is forced to carry in a wheelbarrow on a nightmarish and seemingly endless overland journey. This powerful story alternates with the tale of a white schoolteacher who, embittered by the horrific state of his country, is preparing to leave. Before he can do so he must confront his own demons and personal failings. Both men are in danger and both are apparently helpless to control their fates. When these two plotlines brilliantly and surprisingly unite the result is electrifying.


About Ian Holding

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About the AuthorIan Holding is Zimbabwean schoolteacher based in Harare. His critically acclaimed debut novel, Unfeeling, was published in 2005 and shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize in 2006. Of Beasts and Beings is his second novel.
Published October 25, 2011 by Europa Editions. 224 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Of Beasts and Beings

Kirkus Reviews

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That type is the “civilized” white man who draws comfort from the classics but is a heartless employer of black servants, willfully blind to their plight.

Sep 20 2011 | Read Full Review of Of Beasts and Beings

The Guardian

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In his first novel, Unfeeling, Ian Holding was cagey about where his account of a white farming community being slaughtered by black militants was set, though the imprint of Robert Mugabe was obvious enough.

Aug 28 2010 | Read Full Review of Of Beasts and Beings

Publishers Weekly

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Zimbabwean writer Holding (Unfeeling) delivers another powerful tale of guilt and responsibility set in a dystopian Africa.

Aug 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Of Beasts and Beings

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