Wilma Stockenström, The Expedition to the Baobab Tree

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“Thanks to Stockenström’s rich language (wonderfully translated by award-winning novelist J. M. Coetzee) and brilliant use of symbolism, The Expedition to the Baobab Tree is a heartbreaking story about what we stand to lose as humans, and about how what we stand to lose can never be returned.”
— Three Percent

In J.M.Coetzee’s stunning translation: a powerfully symbolic story in the voice of a slave that explores the depths of imagination, isolation, fear, and love. A slave woman is the only survivor of a failed expedition into the depths of Southern Africa. She shelters in the hollow trunk of a baobab tree where she relives her earlier existence in a state of increasing isolation. We are the sole witnesses to her moving history: her capture as a young child, her life in a harbor city on the eastern coast as servant to various masters, her journey with her last owner and protector, and her life in the baobab tree.

Translated from Afrikaans by J.M. Coetzee.
Published by Archipelago Books, April 2014.