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An Intimate War

Lee, Donve


OBZ: South African Fiction (African Literature)

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Paperback. English. Publisher: Jacana Media. 2010. 181pp.

Good condition in softcover.

An Intimate War is a tumultuous love story, and an exploration of a dangerously addictive relationship between a man and a woman who come from different worlds. She grew up good, clean and quiet. Voices were never raised, anger was never spilled, promises were never broken, the slime of life was never allowed to surface. Her mother was always there, her father never failed to provide, she lived in the same home in the same town for all her growing years. To escape the prison of perfection, she becomes an artist, but even her art is clean. He was brought up by man-hating women, who unleashed their anger on him, robbing him of trust, violating his body and his boyhood. He grew up tormented by guilt and shame. Unable to trust anyone, least of all himself, he seethes with anger against women but tries to bury the bad and learn to be good.

When they meet they have two failed marriages and three children between them. He mirrors the darkness she seeks in order to feel alive, she in turn mirrors the light that he needs in order to feel safe. Gradually they begin to address the unspeakable in themselves and each other. For ten years their life ricochets between exquisite intimacy and exquisite conflict. Their marriage implodes but they remain trapped in a web of tangled desire. An Intimate War pulsates with raw emotion, courageous vulnerability and intense eroticism, and exposes how neediness, shame and self-destructive patterns erupt in an intimate war. The story provides an unforgiving yet compassionate account of an intimate relationship that might be far closer to the norm than most would like to admit. Its uncompromising exploration of how invisible childhood histories impact on adult relationships will jolt adults into reviewing the way they treat children, and show struggling couples that they are not alone in their intimate wars.


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An Intimate War

An Intimate War

OBZ: South African Fiction (African Literature)

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