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Penguin SA

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Maya Fowler’s new novel spans the wide Patagonian plains, delivering a tale of identity and belonging set against the history of Afrikaners immigrating to Argentina

Tertius de Klerk: Afrikaner, hapless academic and potential has-been. A drunken one-night stand with a student, the confrontation, a terrible incident. Tertius must flee.

Like his great-grandfather Basjan before him, Tertius leaves for Patagonia, the remote South American region where his forebears started anew after the Anglo-Boer War.

It’s a desperate act, but also an opportunity to seek refuge among longlost relatives on the windswept plains of the continent’s southernmost tip.

History repeats itself as his spirited wife Alta sets off after him – just as his great-grandmother Salome pursued the wayward Basjan across ocean and desert.

With a heady mix of adventure and humour, Maya Fowler’s novel spans the wide Patagonian plains, and transports you to the New World on Spanish soil, where the Afrikaans language survives to this day.
 
 
Maya Fowler is a writer and translator. She is the author of The Elephant in the Room (shortlisted for the Herman Charles Bosman Prize) and the youth novels As jy ’n ster sien verskiet and Om op eiers te dans (winner of a Maskew Miller Longman award for youth literature). A children’s book of hers, Tortoise Finds His Home, won Unicef’s Best Author in Early Childhood Development Literature Prize and was translated into Afrikaans. She grew up in Stellenbosch and Graaff Reinet, and holds a master’s degree in linguistics from the University of Stellenbosch. She lives and works in Canada.

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