In Counting Teeth: A Namibian story, Peter Midgley travels the byways of Namibia, his childhood home, with his teenaged daughter, Sinead, as his companion. Along the way they examine the layering of culture and history, and the author introduces his daughter to this complex country while renewing his love of the land and its people. Memories of war dog the journey, as the author's own history as a conscientious objector in the Namibian War of Independence with South Africa becomes intertwined with the war-ravaged history of Namibia itself, and the travellers find the bitter legacy of apartheid lingering in unexpected ways. Midgley shows the reader the dizzying beginnings of independence in Namibia, a country of struggle, but one growing and changing, filled with fascinating people and dramatic landscapes.
Peter Midgley is a poet and storyteller. He has performed in several countries around the world and has published three children's books, one of which, Thuli's Mattress, won the International Board on Books for Young People Award for Literacy Promotion and has been translated into twenty-seven languages. He is also the author of two plays and a bilingual volume of poems, perhaps i should / miskien moet ek, which appeared with Kalamalka Press in 2010. A second collection of poetry, Unquiet Bones, will be published by Wolsak & Wynn in 2015.
"His writing is lush, detailed and descriptive and it's obvious that he brings his strengths as a poet to the prose. It is impossible to read this book and not take away a feeling of the country, its landscape and its people. " - Daily Herald Tribune
"Peter Midgley [takes] the reader on a journey of Namibia that captures the imagination as he weaves a multilayered tapestry of proud and often defiant Namibians, war monuments, hidden cemeteries, dusty back roads and tire repair shops. .. It is both an intimate exploration and a careful and well researched story of a meandering journey through 21st century Namibia as conducted by Midgley and Sinead, his wonderfully perception and insightful daughter, muse and travelling companion. " - Writing Room
"Counting Teeth is as much a story of displacement and identity as it is a father-daughter love story. .. Midgley uses a form of literary transference as town by town, grave by grave, skull by skull, he takes his daughter by the hand to bear witness with him, explaining where they are, why they are there, gently bringing all that is his past into their present. " - Writing Room
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