New book alert! The Broken River Tent by Mphuthumi Ntabeni

The Broken River Tent by Mphuthumi Ntabeni is out in May from BlackBird Books!

The Broken River Tent is set in the time of Maqoma, the Xhosa chief at the forefront of fighting British colonialism in the Eastern Cape in the 19th century.

It is an entrancing novel that marries imagination with history.

Publishers’ note, courtesy of Zoe August:

‘We’re really excited about The Broken River Tent. It spells branching out into a new field of historical fiction for us. The book is a kaleidoscopic view of a South African life – past and present – told through the eyes of two protagonists: Maqoma and Phila.

‘Phila, fresh from his architectural studies in Germany has to learn to rediscover home. This is done through Maqoma’s historical telling, as they both visit places of biographical relevance to both their lives. It is told in sequence of interconnected events. As a book of historical literature it flirts between the borders of fact and fiction, even rattles a historical cage or two.

‘The journeys Maqoma and Phila undertake provides emotional stability and identity anchor for Phila. While the character of Maqoma learns from it how to unshackle the residual anger of the colonial narrative in telling the story of Frontier Wars – by the way Maqome led the Xhosa in four frontier wars against the British encroachment in the nineteenth century – he also gets the opportunity to earn his stripes as an ancestor, in the strict Xhosa manner of wise elder with unaffected kindness and goodness, who must promote wonder and wisdom on his protégé, teaching them how to live life in the light of eternity.

‘This is also a journey of correcting historical distortions and present prejudices; of tradition and culture in search of rediscovery.’

Categories Fiction South Africa

Tags BlackBird Books Jacana Media Mphuthumi Ntabeni New Books New Releases The Broken River Tent


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