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More About the Author
Haston published his debut novel Blood and Doves in October 2012, followed almost contemporaneously by Rising of a Dead Moon (first published October 2012, re-written and published in final form October 2013), and Echo and the Magical Whispers (September 2013). A spartan writing style often requires the reader to provide linkages within the story line and characterisation. Themes of class and the suffering of the under-privileged are pursued. Magic realism is a strong component of Haston's writing for children.
Rising of a Dead Moon examines the plight of Indian widows in a historical context: the 19th century diaspora of 'coolies' from India to work on the white-owned sugar plantations in South Africa.
Reviews are available here and on Goodreads:
Blood and Doves is a comment on Victorian class morality as seen through the eyes of a working class anti-hero.
Haston is an advocate for elephants and a member of several elephant charities. Echo and the Magical Whispers was written to raise awareness of poaching of elephants for their ivory. The book won Silver at the 2015 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards.
The author has also written several screenplays and short stories. Screenplay adaptations of Rising and Echo are available on inktip.com.
Contact via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the author's Facebook page.
Top Customer Reviews
This is an engaging work of fiction that blends a presentation of religious and social belief/practice with an obviously well-researched history of Indian oppression and slavery. The single focus on the plight of the main character, Usha, is a good idea, and the developing relationship of Usha with other significant characters, e.g. Hitchcock and Amrita, is both credible and interesting.
There are plenty of conflict points to hold the reader's interest, for example, in ch. 2 with the contrast between the ship's doctor and the mercurial Reeves.
The prose is intelligent and confident; the pace brisk. There were no longeurs; it kept my attention.
This book deals with a chapter from Indian history I knew nothing about, so I was glad to have found this intelligent work.
I really did like this book. Filled with intrigue, the rich history of Natal, South Africa and the Indian culture you are taken back in the colonial time when the English was still in control of the land. The arrogance of them coming here, ruling and making their own laws that only suite them was evident throughout. And even after Independence and democracy the legacy that the English left still causes many problems we still have to face as a nation.
None of us is better then the next person. It does not matter the color of the skin, we have the same blood that flows through our veins, the same needs. The author did a splendid job creating this story with the backdrop of the defeat at Isandlwana, the victories over the Zulu empire and the general life in Durban, capital of Natal.
It is a story about a young Indian woman, Usha who came to SA on a quest to search for her father who left for SA when she was 6. Believing the lies of the man in India she signed up for the indenture and ended up working on the cane fields of Natal in the most horrific conditions. The unforgiving heat of the country, the constant abuse and living conditions, gave this woman pause to think about her life and her unrelenting belief in her religion that sustained her throughout the plot line. Abused by her In-laws and rejected by a mother she thought it best to go away. On her first day, she met a young officer who became her radiant light and savior in so many ways.
A wonderful young woman, strong in character, strong in the body and a faith to keep her going was endearing and wonderfully created to make this a remarkable read.
Lt.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Paul Haston's Rising of a Dead Moon beautifully depicts place throughout. Having lived for 19 years in Richmond-upon-Thames I can vouch for the authentic descriptions of Ham House;... Read morePublished on June 18, 2013 by hermione zillah ophelia laake
Usha, the teenage widow holds our attention right from the first introduction and the reader wants to jump right into the story and protect her from the horrendous life of abuse... Read morePublished on January 7, 2013 by cait coog