Venter & Son
  • Published:
    Sep-1989 (Hardcover)
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(In these two novellas, the author explores two extreme contrasting experiences of life under apartheid in South Africa. Eden is the run-down inner suburb inhabited by a gang of friends. Theirs is a precarious community whose racial mixture is a natural defiance of the principles of apartheid and whose humour and vitality is richly presented in David Owen's idiomatic rhythms of an Eden awaiting the Fall. By contrast, Ventner & Son is set in the barren heartland of the Veldt. The story unfolds through the mind of a reactionary Afrikaner whose shotgun, as the narrative opens, is trained not on a jackal or a threatening kaffir, but on the moonlit figure of his only son. As Ventner prepares to shoot it emerges that his son must die, for an inter-racial liaison is a replica and consequence of his father's own agonized heretical adultery. This tale shows in the warped symmetries of its antagonist how unnatural doctrines may bring more grief to their proponents than to those they are intended to suppress)

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