Mafeking Road: and Other Stories by Herman Charles BosmanMafeking Road: and Other Stories by Herman Charles Bosman

Mafeking Road: and Other Stories

byHerman Charles Bosman

Paperback | June 30, 2008

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 80 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


These slyly simple stories of the unforgiving South African Transvaal reveal a little-described (and rarely romanticized) world of Afrikaner life in the late 19th Century. Like our own Mark Twain, Herman Charles Bosman wields a laughing intolerance of foolishness and prejudice, a dazzling use of wit and clear- sighted judgment. Spun by the plainclothes local visionary and storyteller Oom Shalk Lourens, these moving and satirical glimpses of lethargic herdsmen, ambitious concertina players, legendary leopards and mambas, and love-struck dreamers lay bare immense emotions, contradictions, and mysteries within the smallest movements and unadorned talk of the Groot Marico District. Leading oral tradition by the hand into a territory all his own, Bosman maps a world at once lucid and layered, distant yet powerfully familiar.
Herman Charles Bosman (1905–1951), a household name in South Africa, was born near Cape Town but lived most of his life in the Transvaal. He spent the first six months of 1926 as a teacher at a farm school in the Marico District of what was then the Western Transvaal. His term was cut short when, on a vacation back at his family home i...
Title:Mafeking Road: and Other StoriesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:201 pages, 6.5 × 5.6 × 0.61 inPublished:June 30, 2008Publisher:Steerforth PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0979333067

ISBN - 13:9780979333064

Look for similar items by category:


Read from the Book

It was a cold night (Oom Schalk Lourens said), the stars shone with that frosty sort of light that you see on the wet grass some mornings, when you forget that it is winter, and you get up early, by mistake. The wind was like a girl sobbing out her story of betrayal to the stars. Jan Ockerse and I had been to Derdepoort by donkey-cart. We came back in the evening. And Jan Ockerse told me of a road round the foot of a koppie that would be a short cut back to Drogevlei. Thus it was that we were sitting on the veld, close to the fire, waiting for the morning. We would then be able to ask a kaffir to tell us a short cut back to the foot of that koppie.

Editorial Reviews

The pacing and perspective of Bosman’s tales . . . are unlike anything else in English. The closest comparison may be Robert Frost poems or Bob Dylan songs. —Publishers WeeklyHerman Charles Bosman’s prose is easy as breathing and light as breath itself, perfectly suited for capturing those small, precious, otherwise fleeting moments in which gathered hope, colliding with given fact, defines, in a series of small steps, how we come to look upon life. —Lee StringerA subtle and simple treatment of deep reflections. . . . A classic set of stories, deserving of world attention to match the attention it already receives in Bosman’s home country. —David LahtiRead these stories for the O. Henry-style socko punchlines, for their atmosphere, for the history, read them simply because they’re wonderful, entertaining and humane stories where to weep is to laugh, read them because they make a mostly forgotten world live, but read them. These stories are beautiful fruit from a difficult, problematic, worn and wise, humorous and tragic landscape. —Catherine BohneThe stories in Mafeking Road move between comedy and tragedy, often several times within the same story, and they detail loves lost, or lovers lost, or tragicomic encounters with the British, or family dramas, but each of the stories is masterfully executed and wonderfully written, and achieves its effects almost magically. —E.J. Van Lanen