After flunking his oral examinations at school Jean-Marie Medza returns to his South African village only to find that he is...

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After flunking his oral examinations at school Jean-Marie Medza returns to his South African village only to find that he is commissioned as an emissary to retrieve the errant wife of Mr. Niam. In the backward village of Kala to which he is sent he finds himself the center of native curiosity and admiration...for he had penetrated the white man's domain of civilization and education. The helping hand of his cousin, Zambo, sees Medza through many trying evenings of public free-for- alls where he is barraged with questions about white culture and school. Zambo also facilitates Medza's rendezvous with Edima but, unfortunately, cannot hvold their marriage, well-plotted by Edima's mother. Medza finds Mrs. Nisa, somewhat of a strumpet and returns home in fear to a tyrannical father. When the marriage delegation a few days later with Edima, a father-son combustion occurs and Medza Lakes to the open road without his wife and without regrets. His departure is an open rebellion, symbolic of his renunciation of tribalism. Translated from the French, Mr. Betl's work is well organized, elegant and humorous. It is augmented by the fact that it comes from the literarily virgin country of South Africa, including moods and themes foreign to us.

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 1958

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1958