To Hell with Cronjé
September 15, 2010
novel | pb | 238 pgs
5.5" x 8.5"
“This unforgettable novel establishes Ingrid Winterbach as one of the most important novelists writing in Afrikaans.”
Two scientists, Reitz Steyn and Ben Maritz, find themselves in a “transit camp for those temporarily and permanently unfit for battle” during the Boer War. Captured on suspicion of desertion and treason—during a trek across an unchanging desert of bushes, rocks, and ant hills to help transport a fellow-soldier, who has suffered debilitating shell-shock, to his mother—they are forced to await the judgment of a General Bergh, unsure whether they are to be conscripted into Bergh’s commando, allowed to continue their mission, or executed for treason. As the weeks pass, and the men’s despair at ever returning to their families reaches its peak, they are sent on a bizarre mission...
A South African Heart of Darkness, Ingrid Winterbach’s To Hell with Cronjé is a poetic exploration of friendship and camaraderie, an eerie reflection of the futility of war, and a thought-provoking re-examination of the founding moments of the South African nation.
Translated from the Afrikaans by Elsa Silke
About the Author: Ingrid Winterbach is an artist and novelist whose work has won South Africa’s M-Net Prize, Old Mutual Literary Prize, the University of Johannesburg Prize for Creative Writing, and the W.A. Hofmeyr Prize. To Hell with Cronjé won the 2004 Hertzog Prize, an honor she shares with the novelists Breyten Breytenbach and Etienne Leroux.
"An exquisite book, an essential voice."
"With this excellent novel Ingrid Winterbach proves again that she is one of our most original novelists.”