The Heart of Redness

A Novel

Zakes Mda

Picador

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Camugu, recently returned to Johannesburg and disillusioned by the new democracy, moves to the remote Eastern Cape. There in the nineteenth century a teenage prophetess commanded the Xhosa people to kill their cattle and burn their crops, promising that the spirits of their ancestors would rise and drive the English into the ocean. The failed prophecy split the people in two, with devastating consequences. One hundred and fifty years later, the two groups’ decendants are at odds over plans to build a vast casino and tourist resort, and Camugu is soon drawn into their heritage and their future—and into a bizarre love triangle as well.

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Book Excerpts

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1
“Tears are very close to my eyes,” says Bhonco, son of Ximiya. “Not for pain . . . no . . . I do not cry because of pain. I cry only because of beautiful things.”
And he cries often. Sometimes just a sniffle. Or a single tear down his cheek. As a result he carries a white handkerchief all the time, especially these days when peace has returned to the land and there is enough happiness to go around. It is shared like pinches of snuff. Rivers of salt. They furrow the aged face.
Bhonco is different from the other Unbelievers in his family, for Unbelievers are reputed

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Reviews

Praise for The Heart of Redness

“Brilliant...A new kind of novel: one that combines Gabriel García Márquez’s magic realism and political astuteness with satire, social realism and a critical reexamination of the South African past.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Quiet, subtle, and powerful...Mda’s enormous skills as a storyteller are everywhere in evidence, making the book impossible to put down.” —The Washington Post

“A major step in the new South African novel.” —The Village Voice

“At once legend and historical document...Mda’s novel is the next Things Fall Apart....This is a major new novelist.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune

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About the Author

Zakes Mda

Zakes Mda, a novelist and playwright, has received every major South African prize for his work. A former visiting professor at Yale and the University of Vermont, he teaches at Ohio University and is the dramaturge at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg. He lives in Athens, Ohio.

Zakes Mda

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Heart of Redness
A Novel
Zakes Mda

Award

Hurston/Wright LEGACY Award - Finalist, Hurston/Wright LEGACY Award - Winner

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
August 2003
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312421748
ISBN10: 0312421745
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 288 pages
$16.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
May 2007
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9780374708214
ISBN10: 0374708215
288 pages
$9.99
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Picador

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