Damon Galgut's first collection of stories transports us to 1980s South Africa where politics begins at home. The family - that small circle of beings where love should flourish - can be an arid and alienating territory where hatred and violence may ignite. The title novella is set in a house far out of town, at the end of a dust road that rises up into the mountains. The desperate bondage of family life is revealed to a mother as she sits at her son's bedside where he lies sick, perhaps dying. Galgut's understated prose unpicks the emotional paradoxes of family life with a surprising, surreal twist. In a world where some of the most intimate relationships are those between strangers, Small Circle of Beings describes how children must learn to pull away from their parents if they are to find their own way.

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