Synopses & Reviews
Märit Laurens is a young woman of British descent who comes to live with her husband, Ben, on their newly purchased farm along the border of South Africa. Shortly after her arrival, violence strikes at the heart of Märit's world. Devastated and confused but determined to run the farm on her own, Märit finds herself in a simmering tug of war between the local Afrikaner community and the black workers who live on the farm, 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. Together, the women struggle 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.
Thrilling to read, 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.
“This fine first novel is tension-filled and swiftly paced.” Library Journal
“Resembles in loose fashion our own master Faulkners… novel The Unvanquished.… An intense reading experience… something readers will remember.” Chicago Tribune
“[A] beautiful first novel.” Booklist
“[A] quietly intense first novel.” Vancouver Sun
“A Blade of Grass never falters. It is quite simply a master work by a mature and powerful new voice.” Ottawa Citizen
“[One] of the most interesting novels to have emerged from South Africa recently…. Brutally effective.” The Economist
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.