Lewis DeSoto was born in South Africa and moved to Canada as a teenager. His first novel, A Blade of Grass, was an international bestseller and an International Book of the Month selection. Longlisted for both the Man Booker Prize and the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger, the novel was also a finalist for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. An artist as well as a writer, DeSoto authored a biography of the painter Emily Carr. He lives with his wife, the artist Gunilla Josephson, in Toronto and Normandy, France. Visit him online at www.lewisdesoto.com.
A Blade of Grass: A Novelby Lewis DeSoto
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
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.
- HarperCollins Publishers
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'I think the book's synopsis leads the reader to believe there might be a little more action in the story than there really is. However don't let that deter you. The story is mainly of the relationship of two women from different cultures. They both have dealt with the loss of a loved one and learn to work with each other to accomplish a shared goal. Not knowing much about South Africa (especially in the 1970s) I really appreciated the cultural aspects and sociological aspects of this novel. The writing flows easily. I have loaned it to five women and they have all made the statement, 'I just couldn't put it down.' We all agreed that we didn't like the way it ended but also agreed that it really couldn't have ended another way. (Again, don't let this deter you from reading it). I should say that I did loan it to a male friend and he did not care for it or finish
This is a gripping story of strong women who fight to survive in the midst of apartheid. Great characters and themes. DeSoto chose an excellent title with significance to their uphill struggle.
What a wonderful story! I couldn't put it down. I won't be surprised if this wins some awards. We need more books like this one - a great story and wonderful writing.
Piles of vengenace, no bloodened and dross!