If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…

the rich man of pietermaritzburg book coverIn a rural community where hard work is a way of life, an uninvited guest arrives with promises of attainable wealth.  The stranger claims that his motive is solely to help his people, and he has glowing testimonies from others.  Can the villagers afford to second-guess this opportunity?  Selected by an international jury as one of Africa’s best books of the twentieth century, The Rich Man of Pietermaritzburg is the third and final novel of Sibusiso Nyembezi, a Zulu novelist, poet, and scholar.  Set in a time when apartheid was a looming reality, this newly translated narrative preserves the cadence and humor of the African voice.  The visitor’s insistence on his own importance and the ease with which he tickles the itching ears of the village set up a delightful farce.  It is up to the youth to question whether the man can be trusted, but no one wants to listen.  A light story full of local color, The Rich Man of Pietermaritzburg is a cautionary tale of big talk too easily overshadowing better judgment.