Title: The Story of an African Farm
Author: Olive Schreiner
Publisher: Jonathan Ball Publishers
Johannesburg, South Africa 1995
ISBN 9780868520728 / ISBN 978-0-86852-072-8
Softcover, 13 x 20 cm, 305 pages
The Story of an African Farm was first published in 1883 in London, under the pseudonym Ralph Iron. It quickly became a best-seller, despite causing some controversy over its frank portrayal of freethought, feminism, premarital sex and pregnancy. This edition contains an informative introduction by Cherry Clayton.
[...] The farm by daylight was not as the farm by moonlight. The plain was a weary flat of loose red sand sparsely covered by dry karroo bushes, that cracked beneath the tread like tinder, and showed the red earth everywhere. Here and there a milk-bush lifted its pale-coloured rods, and in every direction the ants and beetles ran about in the blazing sand. The red walls of the farmhouse, the zinc roofs of the outbuildings, the stone walls of the 'kraals', all reflected the fierce sunlight, till the eye ached and blenched. No tree or shrub was to be seen far or near. The two sunflowers that stood before the door, out-stared by the sun, drooped their brazen faces to the sand; and the little cicada-like insects cried aloud among the stones of the 'kopje'. The Boer woman, seen by daylight, was even less lovely than when, in bed, she rolled and dreamed. She sat on a chair in the great front room, with her feet on a wooden stove, and wiped her flat face with the corner of her apron, and drank coffee, and in Cape Dutch swore that the beloved weather was damned. Less lovely, too, by daylight, was the dead Englishman's child, her little step-daughter, upon whose freckles and low, wrinkled forehead the sunlight had no mercy. [...]