9780151004409 / 0151004404

Devil's Valley


Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt



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About the book:

Flip Lochner--embittered boozer, self-described loser, burnt-out crime reporter, would-be historian, failed husband and father--finds himself on the farthest edge of civilization one day, descending on foot into a region that lies so deep within the walls of wild mountains it is all but impossible to reach. The Devil's Valley has been home for 160 years to a breakaway sect of inbred Boers shut off from the rest of the world, and Lochner has come to dig into their stories, to establish their history, to know their truth.

With Devil's Valley, South African writer André Brink, author of A Dry White Season, takes the reader on a wild ride into all the dark places of human nature that people most like to avoid. He makes a landscape and social history of these dark places as he brings his protagonist face to face with an agrarian community sternly committed to keeping outsiders out and inner secrets in. It's a place where dream worlds, death worlds, and this world blur and blend, where God and the Devil daily wrestle for the souls of the inhabitants, where simple human dignity is all but out of reach. What is history in such a place? What is truth? "The problem is that I have no bloody way of making sure what I have to show for my efforts," Lochner muses on his experience. "Statements, testimonies, accounts, or just a damn handful of ravings?"

Devil's Valley asks the reader to wonder about his or her own history, especially those parts we all like to leave out yet mutter silently to ourselves, the parts that skitter through our own moonlit night lives accompanied by owls and baboons. --Schuyler Ingle

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