The Whale Caller

A Novel

Zakes Mda

Picador

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As Zakes Mda's fifth novel opens, the seaside village of Hermanus is overrun with whale-watchers--foreign tourists determined to see whales in their natural habitat. But when the tourists have gone home, the whale caller lingers at the shoreline, wooing a whale he has named Sharisha with cries from a kelp horn. When Sharisha fails to appear for weeks on end, the whale caller frets like a jealous lover--oblivious to the fact that the town drunk, Saluni, a woman who wears a silk dress and red stiletto heels, is infatuated with him.
 
The two misfits eventually fall in love. But each of them is ill equipped for romance, and their relationship suggests, in the words of The Washington Post, that "the deeper, darker concern here is not so much the fragility of love, but the fragility of life itself when one surrenders wholly to the foolish heart."

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Reviews

Praise for The Whale Caller

"A masterpiece of understatement, The Whale Caller is the real winner among this year's crop of South African fiction. . . . One of the best novels of the year."--Time
 
"Earthy [and] bizarrely charming."--Entertainment Weekly
 
"A tour de force . . . [and] testament to Mda's considerable gifts as a storyteller . . . He creates a world that operates according to the fluid logic of a dream. "--The Baltimore Sun

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About the Author

Zakes Mda

A longtime writer-in-residence at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, Zakes Mda is now a professor of creative writing at Ohio University. He lives in Athens, Ohio and Johannesburg, South Africa.

Zakes Mda

Sal Idriss
Zakes Mda

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Whale Caller
A Novel
Zakes Mda

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
October 2006
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312425876
ISBN10: 0312425872
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 240 pages
$17.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
October 2006
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9780374708191
ISBN10: 0374708193
240 pages
$7.99
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Picador

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