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Monday, December 3, 2012


Marguerite Poland has enchanted thousands of readers with her children’s novels, written books which are thought-provoking for readers of all ages, and one cannot forget Abundant Herds, the magnificently illustrated book around her thesis on Nguni cattle.

Her new book, Taken Captive by Birds, is illustrated by Craig Ivor and is a reminder of Abundant Herds in terms of its beauty. But it has a different magic.

As Marguerite Poland writes, “All my life I have been 'taken captive by birds'. Their doings are the thread that runs through childhood, the link to people and to place. Their appearance and their presence can at once recall a name, a scent, a morning full of song and exploration; an evening sorrow, a childhood fear. For, somehow, it is the birds that saw it all: those unobtrusive harbingers whose boundaries are defined by other laws than ours but whose ancient lore remains a cipher to remembrance for me.”  Interwoven with her personal stories are the myths, traditions and meanings behind birds and their names in Zulu and Xhosa culture.

Taken Captive by Birds is published by Penguin Books.

(Watch this space for the review of the impressive publication.)