The time-travelling bookworm: ‘The Story of an African Farm’ by Olive Schreiner

The debut novel of South African author, Olive Schreiner, was published in 1883 under the pseudonym Ralph Iron. I had to read it in 2008 for a university course about modernist literature. I remember liking some elements, but certainly it’s not a favourite book and I’m not going to re-read it again.

The novel follows the characters Lyndall, Em and Waldo. It’s one of those books without much of a plot. I seem to recall there were affairs, and farming, and heat, and wandering around. The interest is more in the writing style. I don’t know if Virginia Woolf read this book, but it could have been an influence as I’m sure there are similarities.

Previous time-travelling episodes: Zarconi’s Magic Flying Fish, The Midwich Cuckoos, Red Velvet, The Yearbook, Voyage in the Dark.

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