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The Zebra Affaire Paperback – May 15, 2014
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WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT "THE ZEBRA AFFAIRE"
"I just finished reading this book and it's truly a masterpiece on so many levels. As a South African who left S.A. in the late 70's, I can attest to the authenticity of Mr. Fine's historical and social facts, as well as life as it existed there at that time... It is a beautiful, heartfelt and very complete love story of the "no-no" kind, written magnificently by Mark Fine." ILANA EDELSTEIN Author, "The Patron Way"
"I see Pulitzer Prize material here. This is fascinating history--with such insight that I've been thinking of the common ground Southerners from the US has shared with South Africans. This (novel) is fantastic, relevant, and an incredible contribution to literature, history, anthropology, and all of the humanities. Mark Fine is brave and brilliant." JEANNE MARY ALLEN Author & Writer
"The Zebra Affaire is a fast-paced, suspenseful tale about the racial divide in the police state of South Africa. The story involves a mixed race relationship during apartheid, riots, tribes at war and the horrors of an unfair and unyielding society. It's the kind of page turner that some of us devour hungrily, anxious for the next thrilling bite." CAROL CASSARA Book Recommendations to Warm You
"In the best tradition of historical fiction, Fine has woven the story of several intriguing individuals into the larger fabric of a troubled time. In this case, a biracial couple's story is at the center of late 1970s apartheid South Africa. Fine has a flair for detailed descriptions (and) brings his experience of growing up in South Africa to the page with clarity and conviction." BRAD AUERBACH, Entertainment Today
About the Author
Mark Fine was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has made the United States his home since 1979, living in New York, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles. For four decades he has worked alongside world famous recording artists. He eventually launched his own award-winning record label, Hammer & Lace, with a mandate to produce benefit albums in support of such causes as breast cancer awareness, at-risk children, and wildlife conservation. For these philanthropic initiatives Mark was voted by Variety magazine as the “Music Executive with 20/20 Vision.” He has also contributed articles to entertainment industry publications, and conducted public speaking engagements at multimedia events. Now he resides in the South Bay, where he lives with his two sons, his “significant other” and Charlie, a neighborhood dog that drops in from time to time. There he wrote the historic romance novel, The Zebra Affaire. Set in apartheid South Africa, Mark brings an insider's perspective to the gripping account of a bi-racial couple's forbidden love. For comments and questions: Website: http://booklaunch.io/mjfine/markfineauthor Blogs: https://markfineauthor.wordpress.com, www.finewrites.blogspot.com Social Media destinations: facebook.com/ZebraAffaire google.com/+MarkfineAuthor Twitter: @MarkFine_author
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Top customer reviews
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Life in the mid-1970’s South Africa is brought alive with stunning visual clarity. The contradiction, subjugation and self-evisceration by a country, resolute in its decision not to recognise the capabilities and talents of all its people.
The love story of Elsa and Stanwell, although the main line within the book, was not the only attraction that kept me hooked. The way in which Mark Fine interweaves his historical references – to support a scene or a character’s action – intrigued me, and delivered a higher level of realism. It brought home the fear, pain and hopelessness of the struggling lovers when faced with an immutable society, barren of comprehending anything beyond the dictate of a brutal regime.
It is obvious that Mr Fine has an acute understanding of the human condition. His careful, but colourful analysis of people, their motivations, their obsessions and how tradition and heritage determines behaviour is quite astounding. This perceptive insight intertwined within the story makes for a sociological dissection of mankind, and shows why peace is unfortunately still on an olive branch too far out of our reach.
I found the supporting characters, especially DGF to be very fascinating. Often in books, the background of supporting characters is left to hurried flashback, but in The Zebra Affaire this is not so. A rich landscape of history is played out enabling an understanding as to why DGF makes those decisions and takes such a great risk.
Much has been written about the horrors of apartheid, and this book exemplifies further a nation held down by abject fear. But it also propels the reader through a window in time, to view the lives of people and their mission to restore humanity and build love, when all around them government-sanctioned hatred persisted. It shows their courage, determination and most of all, their hope to create something to live for. A something called freedom.
The Zebra Affaire is a profound, provocative and powerful book that should be on the reading list of every educational institution across the world. Perhaps, only then will that olive branch be a little closer to reach.
As the love of Elsa and Stanwell grows deeper and more intense they are assisted by some to strengthen their bond. While segregation forbids open encouragement of their union, friends support them quietly. But the strict Afrikaner regime stands against them if not publicly at least in a behind closed doors attack on their union. While they flaunt their affair the government seems to stand in stunned silence as the world looks on. But the fanatics behind the scenes are both appalled and disgusted by their obvious sexual relationship and strive to expose and punish them for breaking hundreds years old laws.
With vibrant descriptions of both the beauty and ugliness of South Africa the story weaves its way to an intense climax. Waiting for the resolution of the love affair the reader will also wait for the resolution of apartheid. Knowing the eventual outcome of South African politics and the rise of Nelson Mandela it is easy to anticipate the same result for Stanwell and Elsa.
I highly recommend this lush and beautifully written story. Fine’s use of words is akin to an artist’s use of the palette; this is not a black and white story, this is a rainbow story with the rich colors of lives in turmoil. In a word, it is brilliant. If I could rate it higher I would do so.
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