December 21, 2008

Eland Dance will be the title

Here is a synopsis of the novel
Peter Fitt is forced to face the realities of the Sixties in Central Africa. In the Congo, Zambia, and Zimbabwe greed and corruption fuel the growing turmoil. “Make Love not War” and “Peace and Love” are mantras often spoken, but rarely practised. Major forces are self-interest and each individual’s ideology. Red Communists, the Green agrarian Revolution, and the pervasive White Man’s way all have their partisans.
Old African beliefs about healing medicine and spirit powers come to the fore. A medicinal concoction should have three major parts, red, green, and white, to be fully effective, he learns.
Pete identifies with the spiritual herbivores of the world, the eland in San tradition, or unicorn in European mythology, against the predators, the exploiters, the lions. He is a defender, not an aggressor.
He helps with a development project in Zambia. In this he uses a Soviet aeroplane to transport fish to a lake straddling the southern border. The Russians take this opportunity to supply arms to the Rhodesian regime. While they claim to be peace lovers, in fact the Communists try to escalate the civil war, in order to assist their cadres into positions of power in the future Zimbabwe. Shit rises to the top when stirred. Thus they supply arms to both sides.
Pete shoots his girlfriend’s brother when he tries to prevent a gunfight between now well armed Rhodesian and Zimbabwean forces. Pete realises his culpability in this and other events. He can’t stop the war, or corruption and selfish power seeking, he can only look around for opportunities to assist others against these, and to influence the outcome of the war.
He helps to expose a Revolutionary, Bad Boy, who illicitly sells arms and ivory. This man is forced to go into Rhodesia on active service, which he has avoided. He is captured and jailed. Pete meets Marjorie’s mother and brother, and must try to explain and apologise
Later, Pete realises that those sitting out the war in captivity may become a large part of any new regime, while idealists who continue to fight on the front lines suffer high mortality. He helps with an amnesty/surrender deal between the Rhodesians and the Freedom Fighters. Pete is able to persuade some leaders that this is a good idea
Pete meets his spiritual other half, a one horned eland he had rescued from a fire years before, and is reunited with Marjorie. Despite the intervention of Bad Boy, the amnesty is a success.

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