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In Banquet at Brabazan, Patricia Schonstein takes us to the heart of Cape Town's violent inner city. She weaves together a rich and consuming story of a secret love affair between a boss and his secretary who create a fantastical, theatrical life for themselves within the confines of her apartment. Their theatrical existence is intricately entangled with superb food, romance, a cappella, an angel, Shakespearean drama, reflections on South Africa's war in Angola, drug-money, a muti murder, visions of the Afterlife and various works of fine art with flashbacks to the wondrous A Time of Angels. In contrast to their contrived space, outside the apartment exists the real world of loneliness, xenophobia and crime that have come to mark post-apartheid South Africa. Patricia Schonstein deftly leads us through both worlds, allowing the lives of a small group of people, who have not met before, to intersect over a period of ten days at Brabazan Bar & Lodge, in Long Street, Cape Town. Here she reveals a poignant and beautiful patina of hope and love.
Primo Verona is born with a gift of clairvoyance so strong that he is able to predict his own mother's death while still in her womb. Brought up on a rich diet of astronomy, philosophy, and storytelling, Primo accurately reads the futures of the local community who pay him in honey cake, tiramisu, and other delicacies. Pasquale Benvenuto is the owner of a beloved wine bar and delicatessen whose culinary reputation rests on recipes for the fruited breads and salamis his father taught him to make.
Together Primo and Pasquale form an easy friendship triangle with the beautiful Beatrice, Primo's wife and Pasquale's former girlfriend. But when Beatrice leaves her husband for her old love, Primo is devastated. He casts spells to spoil Pasquale's creations and to win back Beatrice -- but inadvertently conjures up an unexpected visitor.
A rich anthology that illustrates the enduring narrative of war in Africa. Military strategists, commanders, warriors, conscripts and seasoned fighters come together from diverse battle landscapes to voice the horror & pathos of war. Around them chorus the haunting laments of war-widows, survivors & those who bury the dead.
A run-down block of flats in central Cape Town, home to refugees and illegal immigrants, becomes a young girl's gallery of self-discovery in this moving story of the emotional carnage caused by Africa's civil wars. Drug dealers from Nigeria, Zimbabwean wire-workers, immigrants from Rwanda and Sudan, a Mozambican refugee - all seeking the peace of a newly democratic South Africa - bear down on her fragile world, then scoop her up into theirs. Skyline is an unflinching look at one girl's coming of age in the colourful and violent streets of a city waking up to the rest of Africa.
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