“As one cannot talk about Israel without having read Amos Oz, or India without Salman Rushdie, or South America without Marquez or Llosa, so you will have to read Van Heerden if you want to know anything about South Africa. It is fiction at its best.”
— Herman de Coninck, NRC Handelsblad, Amsterdam, Netherlands

“… spellbinding …”
– The Northern Echo, UK

“Hauntingly rendered …”
– The Good Book Guide, UK

“Perfect portrait of the makings of a rainbow nation … breathtaking … from the first page to the last …”
– Lincolnshire Echo, UK

“Van Heerden brings the people, the spirits and even the terrain of Yearsonend to gorgeous life … a rich novel … (which) manages to encapsulate the tumultuous history of South Africa … The sprawling story, eccentric ghosts and plucky heroine make The Long Silence of Mario Salviati as compelling as any page-turner, but Van Heerden’s rich prose and nuanced explorations of race, greed, passion and the history of South Africa elevate the novel into the realm of lasting literature.”
– The San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, USA

“Spanning wars, lives, and continents, this novel unites readers through its beauty as well as the moments of pain and glory in which the characters find themselves, in every chapter and on every page.”
– The Daily Iowan, Iowa City, USA

“A compelling story. The sort of book a reader can get lost in … It is a novel washed in history and lingers afterward like a memory of a place one might have visited.”
– Mike Nicol, author of The Ibis Tapestry

“A candidate for the great South African novel … Van Heerden controls his craft like no other.”
– De Volkskrant, Amsterdam, Netherlands

“Van Heerden’s words blast the reader’s mind through a clear, blue African sky.”
– The Telegraph, London, UK

“Dazzling storytelling magically weaves the fantastical with the everyday and lends a compelling power to the author’s meditations on history, art and life.”
– The Guardian, London, UK

“With his latest novel, translated from Afrikaans, Van Heerden has lived up to his reputation as the South African Marquez. … This is a wondrous tale, weaving magic realism and history, in which Van Heerden captures the stark beauty of the Karoo and its people.”
– The Times, London, UK

“If ever a book captured the static charge of a sunbaked landscape, it’s Etienne van Heerden’s magical fifth novel set in a fictional town in the South African Karoo desert … The tales [Ingi] hears are romantic, tragic, funny and bloody, preserved like fossils in sandstone: richly packed but often distorted.”
– Daily Telegraph, London, UK

“Professor van Heerden weaves many a spell in this engrossing tale.”
– Choice Magazine, UK

“A new literary star is emerging.”
– OK! magazine, UK

“The novel is a complex tale, full of richly drawn characters from the last 150 years of South African history … You are drawn in to the secrets of Yearsonend and its people as Ingi loses her outsider’s perspective and learns to see events through the villagers’ eyes. It’s a fascinating transformation.”
– The Big Issue in the North, USA

“It is, indeed, a magical book.”
– PopMatters, USA

“There is every chance the reader will fall in love with everything about this book and its characters …”
– Lincolnshire Echo, USA

“Rich in insight and hope … an impressively colourful picture of a fascinating and contradictory country … As writers like Marquez gave a rich artistic depth to South America – and Alasdair Gray defined the imaginative landscape of Scotland in Lanark – so Van Heerden has created an ‘artistic map’ of South Africa …”
– Scotsman, UK

“Fantastical and outrageous … Exuberant and imaginative …”
– Independent, UK

“It’s easy to see why Van Heerden is being described as an Afrikaans Marquez … an exceptionally gifted writer.”
– Scotland on Sunday, UK

“Rich and absorbing …”
– Sunday Herald, UK

“Immaculately constructed, well-told and evocatively rendered …”
– Sunday Times, South Africa

“This sinewy novel ambitiously covers a great swathe of history — the Boer War up until the election of the first post-apartheid government in South Africa and everything in between — and it sets out, too, to map the human heart. Van Heerden succeeds by presenting a glittering array of characters with often symbolic names whose pasts and presents intertwine, often with disturbing results …”
– The New Zealand Herald, NZ

“It reminds one of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Garcia Marquez: the history of a country and a nation told in the form of a family chronicle – realistic but visionary, fantastic, mythical.”
– JA Dautzenberg, De Volkskrant, Netherlands

“The hand of a master.”
– NRC Handelsblad, Amsterdam, Netherlands

“Etienne van Heerden is the brightest light in the firmament of younger Afrikaans writers and his exploration of personal relations and private lives under the pressure of historical and political forces makes him an eloquent witness of this moment of profound social change in the country.”
– André Brink, author of The Rights of Desire

“Kikuyu is a deeply moving account of the influence of family in the making of an identity and a novel. Its sensitive depiction of the ordinariness of our sorrows, of the banality of our hopes and sufferings, places it among the very finest novels produced in this country.”
– The Sunday Times, South Africa

“Etienne van Heerden has a glittering track record … the novel is a courageous, sophisticated engagement with that diseased Hydra, South Africa in transition.”
– Mail and Gaurdian, South Africa