Cape of Storms: The First Life of Adamastor: A Story

Andre Brink, Author
Andre Brink, Author Simon & Schuster $15.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-79907-6
Paperback - 131 pages - 978-1-4022-0864-5
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In this searing novella, acclaimed South African novelist Brink tells the tragic love story of a Khoikhoi chieftain leader (a nomadic people, the Khoikhoi were derogatorily called ``Hottentots'' by European colonists) and a white woman left behind by members of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama's crew when they rounded Africa's southern tip in 1498. The romance between T'kama (Big Bird) and the castaway he names Khois (meaning ``woman'') forms the touching core of an often ribald tale, narrated by the chieftain in lilting prose. T'kama, who learns to mistrust the murderous European invaders, feels terrible pain when a fleet returns and drags off Khois, mother of their infant son--the possibility that she voluntarily abandoned them only compounds his grief. In an introduction, the author relates T'kama's story to that of Adamastor, a giant in Greek mythology who fights the armies of the sea and yearns for the nymph Thetis. Just as Zeus turned Adamastor into a rocky cape, Brink's parable suggests, so have white Europeans punished native Africans. Readers who were wary of tackling Brink's previous novel, An Act of Terror , because of its length, will find this short fable a stunning introduction to his work. (June)
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