The Tortoise Cried its Only Tear (Paperback)


It's a black Karoo night and a young woman, covered in blood, is running along a deserted dirt track. A terrible thing has happened and the woman, Siena, has to reach Seekoegat Primary School at the end of the track, the only place she knows that is safe. It's a long way to run, a three-day ride on a donkey cart.

This is the story of Siena, Boetie and Kriekie, whose lives intersect as children and who meet again as adults: Boetie is a boy running wild. Deprived and neglected he is always up to mischief but his friendship with Siena gives him self-worth. Kriekie is a basket case. As the child of a prostitute working the truck-stops along the n1 he has no home. When his mother, Dolly, doesn't come back, a small act of kindness by a woman running a shop at the truck-stop sees him end up at Seekoegat Primary. Plodding steadily through each chapter is the spectre of the ancient Karoo tortoise. Siena's father, Pa, a karretjiemens, reveres the tortoise as a creature that holds within it the wisdom of the ancient landscape and that cries only one tear when it dies. The Tortoise Cried Its Only Tear is award-winning author Carol Campbell's third book on the Karoo.

Like her previous work this story is a piece of social realism but, for the first time, Campbell introduces hints of magical realism - which is very much in keeping with the world view of the people she writes about.


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Product Description

It's a black Karoo night and a young woman, covered in blood, is running along a deserted dirt track. A terrible thing has happened and the woman, Siena, has to reach Seekoegat Primary School at the end of the track, the only place she knows that is safe. It's a long way to run, a three-day ride on a donkey cart.

This is the story of Siena, Boetie and Kriekie, whose lives intersect as children and who meet again as adults: Boetie is a boy running wild. Deprived and neglected he is always up to mischief but his friendship with Siena gives him self-worth. Kriekie is a basket case. As the child of a prostitute working the truck-stops along the n1 he has no home. When his mother, Dolly, doesn't come back, a small act of kindness by a woman running a shop at the truck-stop sees him end up at Seekoegat Primary. Plodding steadily through each chapter is the spectre of the ancient Karoo tortoise. Siena's father, Pa, a karretjiemens, reveres the tortoise as a creature that holds within it the wisdom of the ancient landscape and that cries only one tear when it dies. The Tortoise Cried Its Only Tear is award-winning author Carol Campbell's third book on the Karoo.

Like her previous work this story is a piece of social realism but, for the first time, Campbell introduces hints of magical realism - which is very much in keeping with the world view of the people she writes about.

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A poignant tale of Karretjiemense in The Karoo, SouthAfrica It’s a dark night in the Karoo, and a bloodied young woman is running along a deserted dust road. Siena is determined to reach Seekoegat Primary School, her only safe haven. It’s a three-day ride on a donkey cart, and she only has her legs to carry her now. Siena's people are dispossessed karretjiemense, travelling by donkey cart and searching for small jobs to survive another day. Her wild childhood is shared with the even more neglected Boetie, and they become inseparable until a dramatic incident enrages the farmer’s wife and their lives are changed forever. Siena is packed off to Seekoegat Primary school as a boarder. There, she befriends children of a similar background and takes to her lessons like a true scholar. Kriekie, the boy with deformed hands and the son of a sex worker, becomes besotted with the kind new girl, Siena, who takes him under her wing. Sometimes, Siena even dares to dream of a future, which would open up a new world… The two boys and Siena, meet up again as adults and their shared history results in an unexpected twist. Once again, Carol Campbell has created a highly sensitive story of marginalised people. She takes us right into their lives and offers us insight into a world we are mostly unaware of. In doing so, Campbell affords the karretjiemense dignity and respect. The tortoise, an animal that embodies ancient wisdom and which cries only one tear when it dies, is central to this poignant story and an icon in the stark landscape that Siena’s people embrace as their home. Gail Gilbride Author of Under the African Sun

Product Details

General

Imprint

Umuzi (Random House Struik)

Country of origin

South Africa

Release date

2019

Availability

Expected to ship within 5 - 10 working days

Authors

Dimensions

210 x 135 x 15mm (L x W x T)

Format

Paperback

Pages

176

ISBN-13

978-1-4152-1008-6

Barcode

9781415210086

Categories

LSN

1-4152-1008-X



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