Based on a true story, Marguerite Poland’s new novel A Sin of Omission represents a powerful act of historical recuperation
More about the book!
A Sin of Omission by Marguerite Poland – a supremely moving novel, set in the rural beauty of the Eastern Cape.
‘It is hard to be an exile … But it is harder to return.’
In the Eastern Cape, Stephen (Malusi) Mzamane, a young Anglican priest, must journey to his mother’s rural home to inform her of his elder brother’s death.
First educated at the Native College in Grahamstown, Stephen was sent to England in 1869 for training at the Missionary College in Canterbury. But on his return to South Africa, relegated to a dilapidated mission near Fort Beaufort, he had to confront not only the prejudices of a colonial society but the discrimination within the Church itself.
Conflicted between his loyalties to the amaNgqika people, for whom his brother fought, and the colonial cause he as Reverend Mzamane is expected to uphold, Stephen’s journey to his mother’s home proves decisive in resolving the contradictions that tear at his heart.
About the author
Marguerite Poland is the author of the novels Train to Doringbult (shortlisted for the CNA Award), Shades (shortlisted for the M-Net Award), Iron Love, Recessional for Grace, and, most recently, The Keeper (winner of a Nielsen Booksellers Choice Award). Her non-fiction work includes the highly acclaimed The Abundant Herds: A Celebration of the Nguni Cattle of the Zulu People, based on her doctoral thesis in Zulu literature, and the memoir Taken Captive by Birds. Poland has been honoured with two Sir Percy Fitzpatrick Awards for children’s literature, an Ingwazi Award, and a SALA Lifetime Achievement Award; in 2016 she was awarded the National Order of Ikhamanga (Silver) by the South African President for her contribution to African languages.