Archive - May 17, 2016

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Review — SWIMMING by Karl Luntta (Botswana)

Review — SWIMMING by Karl Luntta (Botswana)

  Swimming: Stories Karl Luntta (Botswana 1977-80; staff: Fiji, Solomon Islands, Western Samoa, Kiribati, Barbados) Excelsior Editions/SUNY Press September 2015 180 pages $16.95 (paperback — from publisher), $12.38 (Kindle) Reviewed by Ben East (Malawi 1996–98) • ONE THING IS CERTAIN for foreigners at work in much of Africa: the proverbs can be as colorful as they are vague, utilitarian as they are vexing. The truth can emerge — or remain obscured — with a single phrase applied in limitless ways. Truth, in these proverbs, lies in the eye of the beholder and not the object beheld. This principle is at work in the eight stories of Karl Luntta’s Swimming, each of which churns beneath the surface with traces of hidden truth. Whether his characters are far removed from the world we know — like Maag, digging his own grave at the edge of the Kalahari — or are much closer to home, Luntta’s . . .

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