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Turbott Wolfe: A Novel (20th Century Rediscoveries)

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  23 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
“It is an inexplicable lapse on the part of literary scholars and critics,” writes Nadine Gordimer in her Introduction, “that Turbott Wolfe is not recognised as a pyrotechnic presence in the canon of renegade colonialist literature along with Conrad.” Indeed, William Plomer’s astonishing first novel, which first appeared in 1926, ignited a firestorm of controversy in his n ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published December 30th 2003 by Modern Library (first published January 1st 1965)
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Aug 09, 2011 Brendan rated it liked it
Turbott Wolfe exploded like a bomb upon publication in Plomer's native South Africa. Plomer was just 22 when he wrote this novel which brutally exposed the attitude of white South Africa toward the black population. That was crime enough, but it was the novel's unashamed embrace of interracial sex that really cemented its notoriety. The story centres around the title character, a young man running a store in a native reserve, who becomes appalled by his white neighbours and captivated by a young ...more
Jul 26, 2011 Sunny rated it really liked it
imagine dubbya bush's america offering a hand of peace to the world? i guess the shock that would have was what it must have been like in some ways to a south africa riddled deep in the midst of a racial problem. a white man offering his hand to a black. (and this, coincidentally, is a point thats picked out on in the book). written by a guy in his early twenties. a neat, succinct book that doesnt shock us in hindsight but you can image how it would have gone down then.
Robert Wechsler
May 25, 2013 Robert Wechsler rated it really liked it
Shelves: african-lit
A novel of sensibility. Many sentences are a bit off, as are Plomer's observations and the protagonist’s position in South African society, where he stands between white and black, English and Afrikaan, commercial and artistic. There’s a lovely matter-of-factness that makes the novel work. You don’t really learn too much about South Africa, and yet reading the novel is a wonderful, eye-opening experience.
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William Charles Franklyn Plomer CBE (he pronounced the surname as ploomer) was a South African and British author, known as a novelist, poet and literary editor. He was educated mostly in the United Kingdom, but described himself as an "Anglo-African-Asian".

He became famous in the Union of South Africa with his first novel, Turbott Wolfe, which had inter-racial love and marriage as a theme. He was
More about William Plomer...

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