The true and epic story of a boy’s survival in the face of impossible odds.

Walk tells the story of a deadly scramble down the wild coastline of what would become present-day South Africa and should be required reading for anyone interested in the early history of this complex nation and impeccably crafted literary fiction alike. This length of coastline is a hike that every South African should have the privilege of taking. But for the survivors of the wreck of the Grosvenor as they clambered onto the rocks on 5 August 1782, they might as well have crash-landed on Mars. The shipwrecked decided to walk to the Cape of Good Hope, though their ordeal starting at Lambasi in northern Pondoland ended in the dune deserts not far from what we now know as Port Elizabeth – for those few who survived it. 

Walk takes the reader, step by step, day by day, on William Hubberly’s horrific trek. While indisputably fiction, Walk sails a good deal closer to the historical truth than most nonfiction you will read and is a haunting parable on the meeting of Europe and Africa.

About the Author

James Whyle grew up in the Amatole Mountains of the Eastern Cape. After being conscripted into the apartheid army, he was discharged on the grounds of insanity. He did everything in his power to assist the authorities in arriving at this diagnosis. His play about the experience, National Madness, has been called “a simple, subtle and frequently satirical portrait of the condition of militarism”. It was performed at the Market and Baxter theatres and published in Market Plays.

Whyle has since published poetry, short stories and journalism. His radio dramas, commissioned by the BBC, include A Man Called Rejoice which was published as Rejoice Burning in the UK in New South African Plays. His screenplay for the film Otelo Burning has been nominated for achievement in screenplay by the Africa Movie Academy Awards. His story, “The Story”, was chosen by JM Coetzee as winner of the 2011 Pen/Studzinski competition.

James Whyle’s first full-length novel, The Book of War, was published to critical acclaim by Jacana in 2012. It was shortlisted for the preeminent South African literary award, the Sunday Times Fiction Prize for 2012, as well as the 2013 M-Net Literary Award for English. Rian Malan called the book “a very good book, possibly great” and according to William Kentridge it is a “rare feast”.

Author: James Whyle
ISBN: 9781431409204
d-PDF ISBN:  9781431409211


mobi file ISBN: 9781431409235
Size (mm): 210x135mm
Pages: 176pp
Format: Trade Paperback
Colour: Black & White 
Rights: World
Language: English
Publication Date: October 2013