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Winner of the South African M-Net Literary Prize (English category)
Betsy Klein is summoned from her home in the United States to the bedside of her dying father in a South African hospital. Faced with having to say goodbye, she delves into his mind, speaking to him in the lyrical second-person. She imaginatively recreates his life–his struggles to become a doctor after being orphaned young and his fight to win the respect of his Boer patients as a Jew–as well as her own experiences with him as a father.
“Rarely in South African writing will we encounter language of such fire and passion.”–J.M. Coetzee
“The beauty of The Rowing Lesson is in its fluid metaphors, its urgent storytelling . . . and the lyric desperation of a daughter’s love.”–O Magazine
“Beautiful. . . . Unfailingly original.”–Jennifer Egan
“Visceral. . . . Intensely exhilarating.”–The New York Times Book Review
“Like Joyce or William Gass or John Edgar Wideman, Anne Landsman fashions a sensual web of memory and desire, rescuing a world on the brink of extinction through the power of her lyricism.”–Stewart O’Nan
“Amazing.”–Los Angeles Times
“A tour de force.”–Roxana Robinson
“An adventure in language. . . . It makes art of life.”–Louis Menand