The Devil's Chimney

The Devil's Chimney

In the shadows of the Cango Caves in rural South Africa lives Connie Lambrecht, dazed by alcohol and devastating memories. A "poor white," she is haunted by the disappearance of a young "colored" girl in a passage called the Devil's Chimney and obsessed with the story of an Englishwoman who arrived with her husband in 1910 to run an ostrich farm during the international craze for ostrich plumes. The story of Miss Beatrice—a lushly told tale of passion and transgression, violence and tragedy, retribution and redemption—entwines in surprising ways with Connie's own dark secrets. Set against a harsh, dazzling landscape and a social system in which the lives of women and black people are equally expendable and compared by reviewers to the works of Alice Munro, J. M. Coetzee, and Flannery O'Connor—The Devil's Chimney is an artful, lyrical, and explosive debut.

Stunning... A beautiful and frightening tale of people in extremity, written with power and fervor.
-The Miami Herald

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The Times

"A Rare Feather in Her Cap"
The Devil's Chimney is an allegory for the structure of South African society in this century.

The New Yorker

This first novel, narrated by the alcoholic, semi-deranged Connie Lambrecht, brings to mind the parabolic prose of Alice Munro and the scarifying vision of J.M. Coetzee.

The Miami Herald

"Passion, tragedy by the Cango Caves"
Set in the vast, harsh landscape of the South African veld, Anne Landsman's remarkable first novel is a transforming allegory of passion and transgression, retribution and redemption.


"Anne Landsman on Myths and Magic"
First-time author Anne Landsman grew up in Worcester, 'but that wasn't the real me.' Writing about her novel, The Devil's Chimney (Soho Press)

Leadership Magazine

This book by a South African expatriate, due to be published in the US shortly, suggests that the critic Fredric Jameson may not have been so far wrong when he put forward that magic realism has become the literary language of the emergent post- colonial world.

Publishers Weekly

Hubris, madness and ruin in South Africa come urgently alive in Landsman's impressive debut.

Paper Magazine

"Dream Land"
When South African author Anne Landsman says that writing her stunning novel, The Devils Chimney (Soho Press), was "like dreaming," she isn't kidding.

Literary Criticism

Jill Nudelman
"Anne Landsman's The Devil's Chimney: A magical realist narrative for a new nation?"
English Academy Review, Volume 25, Issue 1, May 2008, 112-122.
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