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Carrot! Janet van Eeden on Things Without a Name

Joanne FedlerJoanne FedlerThings Without a Name is South African-born Joanne Fedler‘s latest novel. The former law lecturer and advocate drew from her field of expertise when writing of this book.

Reviewer Janet van Eeden describes the novel as “good”. Not quite damning it with faint praise, but close. Then she says, “It could have done with some editing, but it is still a great read which explores the seldom spoken about world of female abuse”:

“Look to your wounds. That’s where the light enters.” This quote from Rumi, the Sufi poet precedes Joanne Fedler’s new novel, Things Without a Name, and sets the tone. The novel follows the journey of Faith Roberts who has chosen to work as a legal counsellor at a women’s crisis centre.

Her work consists of helping women who have suffered terrible abuse at the hands of men. It is a thankless job. Just as women are about to take control of their own lives, they often fall victim to the worst kind of abuse from their threatened partners. Faith has to deal with femicide on a regular basis.

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Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://www.modjajibooks.co.za" rel="nofollow">Colleen</a>
    Colleen
    December 10th, 2008 @14:53 #
     
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    I'm not sure Janet van Eeden would agree that she is damning with faint praise as she selects Things Without a Name as one of her Best Reads for 2008 (along with Whiplash - yay!)

    http://www.witness.co.za/index.php?showcontent&global[_id]=16897

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  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    December 10th, 2008 @15:43 #
     
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    Clearly not H-rated (a cat dies). I wish Joanne very well, even though I won't be reading this. I have to plough through so much real-life material on these topics, I can't face fiction about them. Which is not to say fiction about them isn't NB. The Quiet Violence of Dreams and Whiplash are each worth a dozen dissertations on sex work, for instance.

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  • <a href="http://www.modjajibooks.co.za" rel="nofollow">Colleen</a>
    Colleen
    December 10th, 2008 @15:58 #
     
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    Although a cat dies, it is much grieved over and (actually I can't say more- because I will be giving away the story - Goodreads calls that a spoiler. I hate reviews that are spoilers). It also has one of the best burials and burial sites ever.

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  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    December 10th, 2008 @16:08 #
     
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    I wish I could get those darn Witness links to work properly in normal view.

    Click here if you want to acutally click through to the paper -

    http://reviews.book.co.za/bookchat/topic.php?id=4055

    - then look for Colleen's comment and the link.

    Also look for our post on the papers' best reads, for which Colleen has gone 'n played the spoiler! J

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  • <a href="http://www.modjajibooks.co.za" rel="nofollow">Colleen</a>
    Colleen
    December 10th, 2008 @16:51 #
     
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    Are you still posting The Witness's best reads? (Sorry about the spoiler, didn't know you were posting about it.)

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  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    December 10th, 2008 @17:04 #
     
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    Colleen, when Pushkin died, she got a proper funeral, complete with priest (the Jesuit chaplain from next door, also one of my dearest friends). She's buried outside my bedroom window, and I planted an antique rose over her. It's sweet-smelling with lots of tiny thorns. When my current young'uns leave dismembered geckoes in my bed, or romp round the house knocking things over at 4.30am, or leave a dead rat inside the fridge (don't ask, I had to get somebody from pest-control to come and remove it, and it cost me R400 and my dignity), I look out my window and tell Pushkin "This is all YOUR fault."

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