White Dog Fell From the Sky
Advance Praise for White Dog Fell From the Sky
“Brutal and beautiful . . . Morse’s unflinching portrayals of extremes of loyalty and cruelty make for an especially memorable novel.”
— Publishers Weekly, “Pick of the Week.”
“From the first page, the moving personal stories dramatize the big issues of ecology, politics, borders, race relations, art, and history.”
“Morse brings the natural world of Botswana to vivid life.”
“A tense and heartfelt novel . . . Morse captures the magic of the African landscape and the terror and degradation of life under apartheid.”
— O, The Oprah Magazine
In Eleanor Morse’s novel, White Dog Fell From the Sky, it’s 1976 in Botswana and Isaac Muthethe, a medical student in South Africa is forced to flee his country after witnessing a friend murdered by white policemen. Isaac is smuggled across the border from South Africa in a hearse. He awakens covered in dust, staring at blue sky and the face of White Dog and is for the first time in a country without apartheid.
Walking along the road into Gaborone, Botswana’s capital, White Dog following close behind, a chance encounter with an old school acquaintance changes the course of his life. Amen, a member of the ANC, the South African resistance movement, invites Isaac to stay with his family. Petrified of deportation and determined to find work, Isaac swears he will stay just for a few days. He sets out to find work and is hired as a gardener by a young American woman, Alice Mendelssohn, who has abandoned her PhD studies to follow her husband, Lawrence, to Botswana. A year later, her marriage an empty shell, Alice sets off on a work trip to the vast bush that she loves—alternately austere and lush, with light that blinds—leaving her home in the care of Isaac. It is on this trip that she meets Ian, an expert on the !Kung San and a rebellious, untamable man twenty years her senior, with whom she imagines a very different future.
Returning home, she finds Isaac missing and White Dog waiting at the end of the drive, dehydrated and malnourished. When she goes in search of Isaac, what she finds out will change her forever and inextricably bind her to this sunburned, beautiful land.
Eleanor Morse paints a gorgeous and intimate portrait of Africa and of three people whose intertwined lives are at once tragic and extraordinary.
Library Journal Review, February 1, 2013
O, The Oprah Magazine Review, January 2013 issue
The Boston Globe review, January 26, 2013
BookPage interview, January 3, 2013
New York Journal of Books Review, January 3, 2013
Publisher’s Weekly Review, November 12, 2012