The Book of Happenstance
A middle-aged lexicographer, Helena Verbloem, travels alone to Durban to assist in the creation of a dictionary of Afrikaans words that have fallen out of use. Shortly after her arrival, her apartment is burglarized, and her collection of precious shells, shells that she had been collecting for a lifetime, is stolen. Meeting with indifference from the local police, she dec...more
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Several months before the death of her boss, Helena Verbloem's apartment is broken into, her seashell collection is stolen, and the thief leaves a turd on her carpet. It's an unusual crime, and so unremarkable the police barely seem interested in the case. If only the author felt the same way. But Helena is determined to find her stolen shells, and between days spent helping her boss, Theo Verwey (who has not died yet), catalogue old and obsolete words in Afrikaans for a book he plans t...more
Helena is a lingui...more
She was born in Johannesburg in 1948. She studied Afrikaans, Dutch and Fine Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand. Lettie Viljoen's first novel was entitled Klaaglied vir Koos ("Lament for Koos"), and was p...more