Jewels and Other Stories

The landscape of 1970s South Africa lives and breathes in these stories. This debut collection is populated by a wide and surprising range of unforgettable characters: an artist who finds his power in the dusty earth; a mother who waits for a letter; a collector of cacti who seeks her own kind of freedom; a shopkeeper in trouble in an outpost country town . . .

“[Promislow’s] stories weave a delicate thread of observation which reveal the ugly chasm created by apartheid and at the same time offer an unusually penetrating insight into otherwise disregarded lives.”
–Mithu Banerji, Wasafiri

“Dawn Promislow has the gift of entering into the consciousness of her characters to reveal extraordinary moments of clarity that illuminate not just themselves but the world in which they are living–that of Apartheid South Africa. These are voices that will continue to haunt us with their beauty of spirit for a long, long time. Wonderful reading from an astonishingly fresh and original writer.”
–Olive Senior, author of Arrival of the Snake-Woman

“[M]asterful writing. The austere precision of each hurtful, passionate epiphany will make you think of Ernest Hemingway, as if he had been born South African. But no comparison is necessary. Promislow’s talent compels us to welcome an exceptional author, one who writes of Africa and Africans with unflinching, but loving, insight.”
–George Elliott Clarke

“At their best, the stories have a compression of description and a simplicity of narrative arc that can indeed be jewel-like in lucidity…The deadlocked society of apartheid is strikingly rendered.”
–Jim Bartley, The Globe and Mail


Publication Date: October 2010

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-894770-65-1
Page size: 5.75″ x 8.75″
192 pages

eBook ISBN: 978-1-894770-78-1

Photo of Dawn Promislow

Dawn Promislow was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. She left South Africa with her family in 1977 and lived in London, England, before returning to study English and French literature at the University of Cape Town. She has lived in Toronto since 1987, where she works in magazine journalism.