The Wild Almond Line
Allen & Unwin, 2000 - 285 pages
An autobiographical account of apartheid-era South Africa from the perspective of a young man of East European Jewish descent. A reluctant conscript, Larry Schwartz had intended to flee, instead he found himself on a troop train headed for a camp outside Pretoria to serve in the apartheid army. The Wild Almond Line alternates between military misadventure and a generational saga in which Larry traces his family through migration from Eastern Europe at the turn of the century, through to its experience of a divided country. The book explores the relationship between Jew and Afrikaner, apartheid, Holocaust, memory, dispossession and personal and community responsibility.
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Page 173 - And the Holy One, blessed is He, came and killed the Angel of Death that slew the slaughterer that slaughtered the ox that drank the water that quenched the fire that burned the stick that beat the dog that bit the cat that ate the kid that father bought for two zuzim. One kid, one kid.
Page 52 - This cape is a most stately thing, and the fairest cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth, and we passed by it the 18 of June.
Page 173 - You shall tell your child on that day: This is done because of that which the Eternal did for me when I came forth out of Egypt.
Page 270 - And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah ; and his wife was barren, and bare not.
Page 136 - Africa had renewed its support in the 1967 Six Day War. There had been a series of subsequent military and political exchanges, culminating in a 1976 visit by the then...
Page 136 - A number of Israeli military specialists had visited in unofficial capacities. Military links had been established with the Ciskei homeland.
Page 28 - I have been corrected on some points, mostly of chronology. Also my mother thinks that a dog I describe as ugly was actually quite handsome. I've allowed some of these points to stand, because this is a book of memory, and memory has its own story to tell. But I have done my best to make it tell a truthful story.
Page 171 - Yet remember those three famous monkeys covering their eyes and ears and mouth: See no evil; hear no evil; speak no evil.