Lovely beyond any singing: Landscapes in South African Writing

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I fell in love with South Africa, the country of my birth, all over again when I started reading this book. It is filled with the most beautiful images of our glorious country. Helen Moffett has done a superb job in putting together the picturesque prose and poignant poetry of our best writers and poets.

From the introduction to the last page contains gems of the best South African writing, drawn from well-known names such as Alan Paton, Dalene Mathee, Rustum Kozain, Wally Serote, Athol Fugard, Finuala Dowling and many more.

The imagery in this book makes one read a page or two and then close one’s eyes to see the beauty of the landscape portrayed in each extract. Many South Africans, like Helen, have lived in various parts of the country and can appreciate the many facets that our diverse topography has to offer. The subtle nuances in light and shade, the diversity of lush greenness and arid deserts are vividly portrayed by our well-loved writers.

Each piece has been especially chosen for the book, and Helen gives her reasons at the beginning of each vignette, as well as a short resume of the author. Many of these selections are well known, and are all the more enjoyable in their rereading, but there are many more to explore that are not as familiar.

At the end of it is a list of recommended reading, enough to keep any avid bibliophile busy for many years to come. Lovely beyond any singing” is an ideal gift for friends and family abroad, because a short dip into it will bring one back ‘home", with deep appreciation of this beautiful and varied land.

It is a must have for any bookshelf.

Margie Wilson

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