In his stories Alfred Marks brings to life a time-not so long ago-when the grip on power by the whites of southern Africa seemed unbreakable, when only in the uneasy stirrings of their dreams did it occur to them that all might not be well.-J. M. Coetzee, Nobel Prize-winning author
Alfred Marks uses his childhood experiences in southern Africa as the inspiration behind these twelve short stories.
The title story of his collection reflects his own experiences as a southern African immigrant in Australia. His protagonist, an antiques shopkeeper, meets a fellow émigré. Delight is followed by reservation when the two men find that they differ on politics. The encounter perfectly captures the loneliness felt by those who have left their homeland behind.
The shopkeeper wistfully remembers a cricket trip he took with his school friends. An encounter with a cow herder resonates with the shopkeeper, and he reexamines his actions through adult eyes.
Marks's other tales bottle up boyhood youth and coming of age and present them graphically to his readers.
The stories that follow also chronicle the moments when characters' beliefs about their culture and identity are challenged. The Heavens of Home proves to be a masterfully told, thought-provoking read.
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About the Author
Alfred Marks was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He and his family lived in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, before moving to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
Marks graduated from high school and worked as a fireman at Rhodesian Railways before moving back to South Africa. He worked numerous sales jobs while exploring his passion for backstage theater.
In 1968, Marks immigrated to Canada. There, he received his bachelor's degree in journalism and master's degree in education. He has worked as a reporter and teacher. As a journalist, he covered the Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake, Canada, and the winter season in Buffalo, New York.
After marrying his Australian wife, he moved with his family to Sydney, Australia. Marks has now spent more than thirty-five years there, working in public relations and antiques. Marks is a proud father of two children.