A major debut novel by Caine Prize shortlisted writer. A beautifully-written novel about a middle-aged woman who is haunted by her relationship with a dying man
Sara Highbury, forty-eight years old, is the manageress of a boarding house. She lives her life in the past, haunted by a love affair with a diamond digger called Herbert.
One day a young child arrives at Sara’s door. Apparently the girl is Herbert’s illegitimate daughter and it seems there is no one else to look after her. Having a child to care for disrupts Sara’s quiet routine. Troubled by the mystery surrounding the girl’s arrival, Sara begins to excavate the past. As the truth unfolds, Sarah must re-evaluate what she holds dear and engage once more with the world around her.
With the backdrop of a rural landscape and characters that are as memorable as they are unexpected, The Shape of Him
introduces a writer whose spare, exquisitely crafted prose places her deservedly in the tradition of the best of South African literary fiction.Author Profile
Gill Schierhout was born in Zimbabwe in 1967.She holds a Doctorate in Public Health and has worked as an academic and consultant in London and Southern Africa.She has twice been a finalist in the HSBC/SA Pen literary award and was short listed for the Caine Prize for African writing in 2008.She now lives in Sydney, Australia.Reviews
Schierhout imposes an austere intelligence and sense of regret on this remarkable narrative. If any novel published this year deserves a truckload of honours, it is this one. No reader could be prepared for the complex tale that unfolds. It is a beautiful book, as bleak as love and as heartbreaking.,Written with an elliptical elegance reminiscent of Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient
this is a strong debut about the grip of memory and the power of one life to impose itself upon another.