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A Blade of Grass

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A Blade of Grass Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Set on the border between South Africa and an unnamed neighboring country in the 1970s, A Blade of Grass is a suspenseful novel about a bitter struggle over a small farm and its dramatic consequences for two women, one white and one black.

The story centers on Märit Laurens, a young woman of British descent, recently orphaned and newly wed, who comes to live with her husband, Ben, on their newly purchased farm. Shortly after her arrival, violence strikes at the heart of Märit's world, leaving her alone and isolated. Devastated, confused, but determined to run the farm on her own, Märit finds herself in a simmering tug of war between the local Afrikaner community that surrounds the farm and the black workers who live on it, both vying for control over the land in the wake of tragedy.

Märit's only supporter is her black housekeeper, Tembi, who, like Märit, is alone in the world. The women are determined to hold on to the farm, but the quietly encroaching civil war brings out conflicting loyalties that turn the fight for the farm into a fight for their lives.

A Blade of Grass is a wrenching story of friendship and betrayal and of the trauma of the land that has shaped post-colonial Africa. Thrilling to read and morally complex in its message, it offers a fresh, profound, and emotionally immediate perspective on what it means to be black or white in a country where both races live and feel entitlement.

Review:

"Lewis DeSoto has written a splendid first novel that illuminates quintessential issues of the 20th century which promise to shape the 21st — race and the lingering aftermath of colonialism. Moreover, A Blade of Grass is a downright compelling read. DeSoto is a welcome and dynamic new voice on the literary scene." Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize Winner for Fiction

Review:

"DeSoto writes evocatively about the land. His characters, no matter how portentous, inhabit a wild and natural country that seems both authentic and tragic." Toronto Globe and Mail

Review:

"A significant work of post-colonial literature and a gripping read. I'm sure we'll be hearing more about it soon, on award-nominations lists....a wonderous thing indeed." Montreal Gazette

Review:

"DeSoto is both an award-winning writer (for his essays and stories) and an accomplished painter (he has shown his work in galleries across the country). Both talents are evident in this bleak, vivid first novel." Vancouver Sun

Review:

"If Lewis DeSoto's debut novel, A Blade of Grass, suggests anything beyond the pleasure of its own success, it's that South Africa seems to be doing a little better than we are with respect to fiction that forces readers to face up to the great toll of internal national conflicts.... Marit's life is something readers will remember." Alan Cheuse, Chicago Tribune

Review:

"DeSoto writes lyrically about the African countryside, and he delicately reveals the nuances of interracial sexual attraction." Tony Eprile, The New York Times

Review:

"This fine first novel is tension-filled and swiftly paced." Barbara Love, Library Journal

Review:

"A Blade of Grass never falters. It is quite simply a master work by a mature and powerful new voice." Ottawa Citizen

Synopsis:

A bitter struggle over a small farm in South Africa has dramatic consequencesfor two women — one white and one black.

About the Author

Lewis DeSoto was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, to a family that arrived from Europe in the eighteenth century. His writing has been published in numerous journals, and he was awarded the Books in Canada/Writers' Union Short Prose Award. A past editor of Literary Review of Canada, Lewis DeSoto lives with his wife in Normandy and Toronto.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060554262
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Desoto, Lewis
Publisher:
Ecco
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Farm life
Subject:
Race relations
Subject:
South Africa
Subject:
Suspense fiction
Subject:
Women farmers
Subject:
White women
Subject:
General Fiction
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series Volume:
no. 115
Publication Date:
20030916
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
9.26x6.50x1.37 in. 1.65 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

A Blade of Grass Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Ecco - English 9780060554262 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Lewis DeSoto has written a splendid first novel that illuminates quintessential issues of the 20th century which promise to shape the 21st — race and the lingering aftermath of colonialism. Moreover, A Blade of Grass is a downright compelling read. DeSoto is a welcome and dynamic new voice on the literary scene."
"Review" by , "DeSoto writes evocatively about the land. His characters, no matter how portentous, inhabit a wild and natural country that seems both authentic and tragic."
"Review" by , "A significant work of post-colonial literature and a gripping read. I'm sure we'll be hearing more about it soon, on award-nominations lists....a wonderous thing indeed."
"Review" by , "DeSoto is both an award-winning writer (for his essays and stories) and an accomplished painter (he has shown his work in galleries across the country). Both talents are evident in this bleak, vivid first novel."
"Review" by , "If Lewis DeSoto's debut novel, A Blade of Grass, suggests anything beyond the pleasure of its own success, it's that South Africa seems to be doing a little better than we are with respect to fiction that forces readers to face up to the great toll of internal national conflicts.... Marit's life is something readers will remember."
"Review" by , "DeSoto writes lyrically about the African countryside, and he delicately reveals the nuances of interracial sexual attraction."
"Review" by , "This fine first novel is tension-filled and swiftly paced."
"Review" by , "A Blade of Grass never falters. It is quite simply a master work by a mature and powerful new voice."
"Synopsis" by , A bitter struggle over a small farm in South Africa has dramatic consequencesfor two women — one white and one black.
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