A farmhouse is being reproduced a dozen times, with slight variations, throughout a valley. Three small graves have been dug in the front garden, the middle one lying empty. A woman in a wheelchair sorts through boxes while her husband clambers around the old demolished buildings, wondering where the animals have gone. A young woman –called ‘the barren one’ behind her back – dreams of love, while an ageing headmaster contemplates the end of his life. At the entrance to the long dirt driveway, a car appears and pauses – pointed towards the house like a silver bullet, ticking with heat.
So begins The Dream House, Craig Higginson’s riveting and unforgettable novel set in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal. Written with dark wit, a stark poetic style and extraordinary tenderness, this is a story about the state of a nation and a deep meditation on memory, ageing, meaning, family, love and loss. The Dream House is written with such a fierce and steady compassion that the reader can only come away from it transformed – ready to take on the challenges of living with a renewed heart and a bigger vision.
‘The Dream House is an open and frank exploration of human life that resonates beyond race. Looksmart is a welcome new kind of character in the constantly evolving reality of African literature.’ – NADINE GORDIMER
‘The Dream House is beautifully written. Its politics is understated and its portrayal of South Africa is characterised by a constant movement between affection, anger, nostalgia, resistance and the characters’ acceptance of what is part of the human condition.’ – MARK BEHR
CRAIG HIGGINSON lives in Johannesburg. His previous novels include Last Summer and the award-winning The Landscape Painter (both Picador Africa). His plays include Dream of the Dog,
The Girl in the Yellow Dress, The Jungle Book and Little Foot (all published by Oberon Books, London). His next two plays – The Imagined Land and The Red Door – are scheduled to be published and produced in the next eighteen months.