By Marlene Van Niekerk
Set in apartheid South Africa, Agaat portrays the original courting among Milla, a 67-year-old white lady, and her black maidservant grew to become caretaker, Agaat. via flashbacks and diary entries, the reader learns approximately Milla's earlier. lifestyles for white farmers in Fifties South Africa used to be choked with promise — younger and newly married, Milla raised a son and created her personal farm out of a swathe of Cape mountainside. 40 years later her family members has fallen aside, the rustic she knew is close to large switch, and all she has left are thoughts and her proud, opposite, but affectionate mum or dad. With haunting, lyrical prose, Marlene Van Niekerk creates a narrative of affection and relatives loyalty. Winner of the South African Sunday instances Fiction Prize in 2007, Agaat was once translated because the manner of the ladies by means of Michiel Heyns, who acquired the Sol Plaatje Award for his translation.
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Aeolian harp. 1 It’ll be the end of me yet, getting communication going. That’s how it’s been from the beginning with her. This morning I had to stare and stare at the black box where it’s been lying for eleven months. Eventually I managed to catch her eye, and point my stare, there, where the shiny black varnish of the box showed, under the pile of reading matter. Under the growing pile of little blue notebooks, under the Saries, under the Fair Ladys, under the Farmer’s Weeklys on the dressing table in front of the stoep door, there!
In front two jerkin-head gables with big windows, Ma’s room on the right, Pa’s room left. The weathered doves in low relief under the overhang. Thatch. In front of the house to the north, the strip of level river-grazing up to the river’s edge. Planted pasture for cattle, a seam of indigenous trees next to the water, wild olive—blaze at the core—(Olea africana), true yellowwood (Podocarpus latifolius). The song. The other answer for my questioners. Fantasy for a snowed-in farmer. For reed pipe, for Jew’s harp, with sniffles, wordless.
Death is her objective. She has prepared it excellently. I couldn’t have done it better myself. First she emptied the room. Everything redundant she carried out. To the cellar. I heard her bump and shift, here right under my bed, to make space for the stuff. The sofa and footstools, the doilies and cloths on the dressing table, the ornaments and wall hangings. The clothes horse, the hatstand, the walking stick stand, the walking frame, the wheelchair, the snows of yesteryear, the posies of dried everlastings.
Agaat by Marlene Van Niekerk