By Marlene Van Niekerk
Set in apartheid South Africa, Agaat portrays the original dating among Milla, a 67-year-old white girl, and her black maidservant became caretaker, Agaat. via flashbacks and diary entries, the reader learns approximately Milla's earlier. lifestyles for white farmers in Fifties South Africa used to be packed with promise — younger and newly married, Milla raised a son and created her personal farm out of a swathe of Cape mountainside. 40 years later her kin has fallen aside, the rustic she knew is on the point of large switch, and all she has left are stories and her proud, opposite, but affectionate mum or dad. With haunting, lyrical prose, Marlene Van Niekerk creates a narrative of affection and kinfolk loyalty. Winner of the South African Sunday occasions Fiction Prize in 2007, Agaat used to be translated because the means of the ladies by means of Michiel Heyns, who acquired the Sol Plaatje Award for his translation.
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Extra resources for Agaat
From the Introduction to the first edition of the FAK-Volksangbundel [National Anthology of Song of the Federation of Afrikaans Culture Organisations]. H. J. du P. H. ). H. De Bussy Pretoria, HAUM. V/H Jacques Dusseau & Co, Cape Town, 1937. ‘That is the beauty, the value of this book: that it was born out of love and inspires to love, that nobody can doubt. And with that a great service is done to the nation, for who feels for beauty, on whatever terrain, has a contribution to make to the cultural development of the nation.
As if I had to pass a test. It writes, she said with a long jaw. She placed the pen between my thumb and index finger and pressed them together as far as she could reach amongst the buckles and the leather and the screws. She pushed the clipboard in under my hand. It was a laborious arrangement. She had to push and pull and balance the splint and the pen and the board and my hand. She made a ridge in the bedspread to support the whole lot. As you do with a rag doll when you want to make her sit up in a chair.
And then there’s the bridge, a broad flat shoulder on one steel leg that fits over my bed, and on which my little bowls of food and my spout-jugs full of thickened tea can stand. And my reading stand. Above my bed is a reading lamp, 100 watts with an adjustable head on a long arm, which can extend. Enough light in the shearing shed, says Agaat, you don’t dip a sheep in the dark. But normally she doesn’t switch it on at night. Only when absolutely necessary. Next to my bed is a wooden stool on which she sits when she’s feeding me.
Agaat by Marlene Van Niekerk