The Other Side of Silence

The Other Side of Silence

André Brink / Jun 18, 2019

The Other Side of Silence With years of abuse behind her and a bleak future ahead a young German woman dreams of her country s colony in South West Africa When she learns of the women being transported to the colony to attend

  • Title: The Other Side of Silence
  • Author: André Brink
  • ISBN: 9780156029643
  • Page: 266
  • Format: Paperback
  • With years of abuse behind her and a bleak future ahead, a young German woman dreams of her country s colony in South West Africa When she learns of the women being transported to the colony to attend to the needs of male settlers, Hanna X takes the leap In Africa she is confronted with the harsh realities of colonial life For resisting the advances of a German officer,With years of abuse behind her and a bleak future ahead, a young German woman dreams of her country s colony in South West Africa When she learns of the women being transported to the colony to attend to the needs of male settlers, Hanna X takes the leap In Africa she is confronted with the harsh realities of colonial life For resisting the advances of a German officer, she is banished to Frauenstein, a phantasmagoric outpost that is at once a prison, nunnery, brothel, and shithouse When the drunken excesses of visiting soldiers threaten the young girl who has become her only companion, Hanna revolts.Mounting a ragtag army of women and native victims of brutality, she sets out on an epic journey to take on the German Reich Combining the history of colonialism with the myths of Africa, this is an exquisitely written tale of suffering, violence, revenge, and, simply, love.

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      Published :2018-09-13T06:09:18+00:00

    About "André Brink"

      • André Brink

        Andr Philippus Brink was a South African novelist He wrote in Afrikaans and English and was until his retirement a Professor of English Literature at the University of Cape Town.In the 1960s, he and Breyten Breytenbach were key figures in the Afrikaans literary movement known as Die Sestigers The Sixty ers These writers sought to use Afrikaans as a language to speak against the apartheid government, and also to bring into Afrikaans literature the influence of contemporary English and French trends His novel Kennis van die aand 1973 was the first Afrikaans book to be banned by the South African government.Brink s early novels were often concerned with the apartheid policy His final works engaged new issues raised by life in postapartheid South Africa.


    402 Comments

    1. I think I read all of the novels Andre Brink wrote about South Africa and the tragedy of apartheid. They were all almost unbearably poignant. moving and powerful. An Instant in the Wind, A Chain of Voices, and others whose titles I have forgotten. I haven't forgotten the passion with which Brink wrote about injustice, but also about the hold that South Africa, uniquely, seems to have on the minds, hearts and souls of all the people that live there. I can't really put it into words, you'll have t [...]


    2. Hanna suffered a lifetime of sexual abuse, first at the orphanage in Germany where she was raised and later in the homes of the families she was sent to work for. Finally an opportunity comes along to escape it all and she accepts an opportunity to be taken by boat to German South West Africa (now Namibia) to begin a new life. By an error in the passenger records, she is recorded as Hanna X. The trip isn't a fresh start; the abuse continues. After landing at Swakopmund and being passed over as a [...]


    3. This book is in two parts. I could not put the book down for the first part. It tells the brutally horrific story of Hanna, a German woman in the early 20th century who had a desperately sad childhood and who sailed to Namibia, as it is now, in adulthood thinking she would have an adventure only to be viciously attacked and disfigured. It made painful reading but is so beautifully written that I was compelled to carry on. The second part is about her journey to seek revenge on those who attacked [...]


    4. One of the most disturbing, spell-binding, and tragic depictions of life in Namibia/South-West-Africa (Deutsch-Südwestafrika). A story not easily forgotten.


    5. This is a stunning book in every way. It is disturbing, violent and intense and yet it is impossible to put down. This is Hanna X's story; she is a young woman shipped to SW Africa to appease the appetites of the male German soldiers. As well as its blatant misogynism it deals with the horrors of colonial brutality. Do not miss the opportunity to read this incredible book.




    6. As I unpacked, I found this among my books and couldn't remember how it had gotten there. I had never heard of it and thought I'd give it a go. Bad idea. This is truly the worst novel I have ever read (I'm sorry if someone out there gave it to me and likes it!). I kept reading just to see if anything redeeming would finally happen to poor Hanna X, who endures literally every type of abuse known to woman, but instead, she decides to let hate and revenge take over and starts killing everyone she c [...]


    7. I struggled with rating this book but decided to give it a 4 since my only reasons for a lower rating were because it contains graphic violence or that the story is not a happy one. It is beautifully and even though is a tale of a truly dreadful existence, I could not put it down. I will need to find another of this author's books (on a more pleasant topic) as I am sure I will be enthralled. Best line in the book "A man remains a mystery to her - that someone so big, so strong, so imperious, so [...]


    8. The first part of this story is wonderfully written, harrowing, and unbearably beautiful. The second part, however, becomes a tedious movement through a desert of cliche and revenge drama, that really ruins the novels power. The ending contains the same feeling as how the story ended in part one, which makes the second part redundant. Brink for some reason felt the need to confirm Hanna's (his) conscious by delving into a female empowerment through revenge. Bullshit. Could've been great.


    9. When Brink is at his best, he is a brilliant writer. When he is not at his best, he is still brilliant. I love the guy. The Other Side of Silence (which I read in Afrikaans, by the way) is a boring book. I put it aside a number of times because it seemed to be going nowhere. It does have a point, however. Brink came across the semi-anonymous Hanna X in one of the records while studying the history of German South-West Africa. Hanna was one of the countless mail-order brides, of sorts, who were s [...]


    10. The other side of silence is violence, or as the author himself states on page 137, a result of that “incidental little appendage” to the male anatomy. This is a book filled with rape and blood. So unless you’re brimming with rage and hurt, it will be a pointless read. The covers of both the Afrikaans and the English versions depict one of the houses along the Skeleton Coast at Kolmanskop, Namibia. German troops tried to conquer “South West Africa” (better known as Namibia today) aroun [...]


    11. Brink is an exceptional writer with an extraordinary understanding of native southern Africa while superbly able to mix both black and white stories into a gripping narrative mix. Brink is not the only South African writer able to do this, but managing to bridge that cultural gap, he and writers like him, are the vanguard of those bringing peoples together. Not that Brink's, or J.M. Coetzee's for that matter, stories are typically uplifting; the contrary. The Other Side of Silence highlights Ger [...]


    12. First I must say that Andre Brink is one of my favourite writers. All his books are good, quite many are excellent.This novel falls into the "good" category. Not among the best of Brinks but far better than many of the best novels from other authors.Somehow I experienced this a bit uneven in style. The story started with a heavier approach (lots of words and contemplation) and suddenly it changed into almost adventure mode which was much easier to read through without deeper thinking. I didn't m [...]


    13. Maybe this should be a 4 star, or even a 5 star. But, though I couldn't put it down, the violence was so unremitting, some of the alliances portrayed so unlikelyStory takes place in South-West Africa (present day Namibia). A woman signs up to leave Germany, where her life has been endless servitude (both in an orphanage and as a servant) in families that treat her both brutally and as a sexual subject. She signs on to go to Africa, to a German colony, with a romanticized view of what her life mi [...]


    14. A scarifying account of a little-known episode to me, which occurred in the early years of the twentieth century, when shiploads of young women were transported to German South-West Africa to fulfil the needs of the male settlers laying waste to the country. The heroine is Hanna X - condemned to be ever anonymous because of a blot covering her name on the shipping list. She may be a nobody to the authorities, but her spirit is second to none. Brought up in deprivation and lovelessness, her heroi [...]


    15. A great mixture of narrative and lyrics. A great story of sorrow and revenge.Chapter 19:The wind. The wind always comes from >i< somewhere else.>/i< At night in the orphanage, slowly retreating from the edge of death, she lies listening to the comforting sound of her friend, the wind. She must have been very small when she first became aware of it. She was suffering from a bad cold and couldn't sleep; and all the time the wind was there to keep her company. In the morning she told Fr [...]



    16. This book is goddamn terrifying because it is mostly based on true events. All Hanna X wants is a fresh start. She takes the ultimate chance and ventures to Africa, where her fellow countrymen (the Germans) are colonizing and the men need wives. When Hanna is deemed unfit for marriage, she's shipped off to a brothel. After enduring horrific abuse and disfigurement, Hanna tries to continue living and surviving. Hanna manages to escape and finds temporary refuge among an African tribe. She's "resc [...]


    17. there aren't many novels that revolt me, turn my stomach, and make me so sad i question even going on with this farce we call life on earth. this one is like that. hahaha, very powerful story of German lady who fights back against German military and white colonists doing so many unspeakable things in Namibia (South-West Africa is what they called it). you can tell that the Germans would later have no trouble whatsoever being Nazis in their own home. This is the second novel that has disturbed m [...]


    18. a very raw account of one persons life and all the things that could befall them at the hands of men in a strange country where they have no defences.Its not a comfortable read, some of the descriptions are very detailed, but its a vivid picture painted, and helps with the book.I felt it was at its strongest for first 3/4 of book, before too many people were introduced and the story came about revenge I liked the flashback stories to different parts of Hanna's life so we could see how we had got [...]


    19. De Andere Kant van de Stilte, - Brink schrijft meestal tegelijk in het Afrikaans en in het Engels. Hij doet veel opzoekwerk voor zijn romans. Deze keer heeft hij een naam van een ongehuwde vrouw gekozen die uit Duitsland wordt verscheept naar Namibië, toen een Duitse kolonie die (Europese) vrouwen tekort kwam. Een verschrikkelijk lot staat haar te wachten, maar Brink probeert in haar hart en ziel door te dringen. Magisch verhaal waarin de woestijnwind en de eindelozen vlaktes van Namibië bijna [...]


    20. A shattering tale of misogyny and imperialism, the book follows Hannah X in a struggle for personhood against the odds of violent patriarchy and in the face of racism and colonialism. Some will be put off by the fact that Hannah only encounters one man who does not try to debauch the women around them, but it seems like a realistic if harrowing portrayal of unchecked power, which is likely to be exploited by anyone who possesses it alongside a dehumanization of the other. Hannah's rebellion is e [...]


    21. Based in Namibia: an account of the fates of shiploads of young women sent out to the South African Colony when it was under German rule at the beginning of the 20th Century. Quite horrific but with Brink's artistry also a beautiful depiction of the reality of the time. This author is to be recommended this is the second oneof his books Ive read difficult to put down although not for the faint hearted.


    22. ce livre parle d'un sujet difficile des allemandes deportees en afrique du sud pour etre mariee ou esclave ainsi que tous les mauvais traitement auxquels elles ont pu avoir mais c'est ecrit d'une telle facon qu'on lirait ca presque comme un roman je comprends mieux pourquoi andre brink est prix nobel :)


    23. I am about to visit Namibia which is where this haunting and disturbing novel is predominantly set. It has given me a good insight into the German occupation of this country but is also a beautifully written novel about betrayal, trust, revenge and a woman's ability to forgive.


    24. I thought I might be reading a book about Frauenstein, which could have been interesting. Instead I found myself embarking on a journey filled with and fueled by extreme violence and hatred, the likes of which I have hardly ever seen - and never appreciated.


    25. A harrowing tale of a woman who was mutilated and silenced by the hurt ego of a puny man. She sets out on a mission to diffuse her burning hatred towards all men who use and abuse women. Extremely sad and graphic, yet wonderfully written in the way only Brink can.


    26. I am the biggest Brink Fan on the planet. He is my favourite author so I am biased with all of his work. Don't expect a balanced review from me. As with all Brinks work the backdrop is apartheid South Africa and the stuggles of white and black alike.



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