A South African pastor and a young teacher from Cape Town battle over the fate of an eccentric elderly widow.
Short and sweet!
Inspired by Helen Martins, who lived in Nieu-Bethesda and created the now-famous The Owl House – which is designated a provincial heritage site – The Road to Mecca is the story of a woman’s desire for personal and artistic freedom within the narrow confines of a conservative and highly religious community in the Karoo in early seventies apartheid South Africa.
This is a teeny tiny book with a bare 79 pages. And it is written in a script format. Something I love to write but also to read. Although I cannot find many like this. Any suggestions?
By nature, I am a ridiculously free thinking person and I felt a kindred spirit with Mrs Helen. She’s a woman whose way of thinking and the freedom she discovered, took her on a path to freedom beyond her community.
Mr Fugard successfully captured the stale thinking of a society caught in archaic traditions and ways. The majority of times this archaic mentality is the norm. Before I start preaching, this book is definitely a five star in my book. It’s a book with a lot of South African culture and traditions woven into the story.
A reviewer of one of my short stories commented that my writing is too formal and asked the question if people really talk like that. Short answer, yes, I do talk like that. And yes, where I live we do use fairly formal English. This little book is therefore written in quite formal and proper English but not above understandable English.
Where to learn more about the author:
Some more info on the author here and here. Amazon has a whole list of books and play-writes from this author. There is also a theatre, The Fugard where this book can be seen on stage March & April 2018! How exciting. I want to try and visit the Market Theatre in Johannesburg where it will be moved to next. I also found this video from a production a few years ago Road to Mecca
Where to buy this little book?