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About the book
  • Published: 30 November 2011
  • ISBN: 9781448113613
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 384
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On The Contrary




'A timeless, intensely metaphorical novel, but it is also urgently topical' - Times Literary Supplement

Estienne Barbier, born in the Loire Valley in 1699, lays claim to service in the armies of the kings of France and Prussia, but he is an inveterate liar, and the truth is less glorious: irate husbands have made the Lowlands too hot to hold him, and he has deserted his pregnant wife to stow away for the Cape of Good Hope. An expedition to the hinterland opens his eyes to the majesty of the African landscape and its wondrous animals and he is enchanted by the rumour of a fabled city of gold. But he also begins to see clearly the sordid dealing that underlies the self-righteous pomposity of the East India Company. It is a vision that makes him powerful enemies. Taking cover on a remote farm, and energetically consoling sundry widows, Barbier finds himself, to his own surprise, fomenting rebellion.

  • Pub date: 30 November 2011
  • ISBN: 9781448113613
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 384

About the Author

André Brink

Andre Brink (1935 - 2015) was one of South Africa's most prominent writers and is the author of several novels, including A Dry White Season, Imaginings of Sand, The Rights of Desire, The Other Side of Silence and Philida. He has won South Africa's most important literay prize, the CNA Award, three times and has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His last novel, Philida, was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2012.

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Praise for On The Contrary

“An immensely generous novel, vivid and adroit in its use of history.”

The Times

“Peter Carey--Garcia Marquez--Alexander Solzhenitsyn: Andre Brink must be considered with that class of writer.”

The Guardian


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