If you read one book this year, do yourself a favour and get a copy of “Are Trout South African?” by Duncan Brown. Duncan is the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Professor of English at the University of the Western Cape. He is an academic, literary critic, author and flyfisherman. It is no wonder then that this book is beautifully written; readable, absorbing, erudite, insightful, adding significantly and certainly the most important contribution to the body of our South African flyfishing literature in recent times.
The summary on the back cover of the book provides a clear and succinct outline of what the reader can expect –
“Are Trout South African?’ explores questions about the complex community of humans, fauna and flora that makes up South Africa. ‘South Africaness’ usually refers to human identity, or at least to something with a valued place in our national history. In asking whether a fish species that was introduced as part of the process of colonial occupation could be called ‘South African’, this book uses discussions on trout, their history, the literature about them, scientific work on what is considered ’indigenous’ or ‘alien’, as well as the author’s moving personal stories of fishing to provide an engaging and accessible exploration of a contested physical and cultural terrain”
“Are Trout South African?” will be of interest to anyone who is engaged with the notions of how people belong or claim to belong, how people interact with landscapes, animals, plants or fish species, how our histories and family relationships may form around shared pursuits such as fishing, and of course, what pleasures, complexities and contradictions there are in the activity of flyfishing for trout in South Africa.”
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