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