Availability: Not available new from Amazon.com
Publisher: The Overlook Press (2004-02-02)
ISBN-10/ISBN-13: 1585675008 / 9781585675005
Amazon.com Sales Rank: 3070337
(The Overlook Press $16.95)
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A 2004 Vacation Reading (selected by The New York Times)
“Published 10 years ago in South Africa, Triomf is a comic triumph, featuring a burned-out family of Afrikaner Snopeses in flight from democratic changes; their easygoing brutality and prejudice are often mingled with startling tenderness and love, much as happens in real life.”
As lyrical and acutely observed as Nadine Gordimer's The House Gun and as penetrating as J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace, Triomf's microcosmic view of South Africa on the brink of disintegration has been acclaimed as one of the best novels ever written in Afrikaans. This is the story of the four inhabitants of 127 Martha Street in the poor white suburb of Triomf. Living on the ruins of old Sophiatown, the freehold township razed to the ground as a so-called 'black spot', they await with trepidation their country's first democratic elections. It is a date that coincides fatefully with the fortieth birthday of Lambert, the oversexed misfit son of the house. There is also Treppie, master of misrule and family metaphysician; Pop, the angel of peace teetering on the brink of the grave; and Mol, the materfamilias in her eternal housecoat. Pestered on a daily basis by nosy neighbors, National Party canvassers and Jehovah's Witnesses, defenseless against the big city towering over them like a vengeful dinosaur, they often resort to quoting to each other the only consolation that they know; we still have each other and a roof over our heads. Triomf relentlessly probes Afrikaner history and politics, revealing the bizarre and tragic effect that apartheid had on exactly the white underclass who were most supposed to benefit. It is also a seriously funny investigation of the human endeavor to make sense of life even under the most abject of circumstances.
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