The Raw Man is a unique and powerful first novel, which mixes reality with myth, and histories real and imagined. It is a story which has never before been told, a conjuring of an extraordinary place and time which reverberates beyond the pages. Reminiscent of Joseph Conrad in its intensity, in its scope to J. M. Coetzee, and in its storytelling to Jorge Luis Borges, The Raw Man is a revelatory work of fiction, and one that is impossible to forget.
In a remote glen in Southern Africa, where the difference between the material and spiritual worlds is a matter of perception, a “blood reader” of mixed race — who sees people’s pasts and destinies reflected in their blood — struggles to unravel his family’s secrets and come to grips with his ancestry.
Told in reverse chronology, it presents a family puzzle, and a glimpse of a conflicted region, that falls beautifully and heart-rendingly into place for the reader at the end. The Raw Man paints a brooding portrait of Africa, filled with magical moments of hallucinatory power.