Books: The African Sickness

South Africa's literature is remarkable for the fact that its women writers are better than the men. The best South African biography is Sarah Gertrude Millin's Cecil Rhodes; the best novels, Olive Schreiner's The Story of an African Farm (1883) and Pauline Smith's The Beadle (1926). Publication of The Fire-Raisers brings another woman novelist into the front rank of South African fiction.

Jean Heather Marris Murray, daughter of a Scottish emigrant father and a South African mother, was born in Pretoria. An Oxford scholarship took her to England, where she worked as a free-lance journalist throughout World War II. The Fire-Raisers is...

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