From Commonwealth Book Prize Shortlisted Author Bridget Pitt
Finalist for the Tuscarora Award for Historical Fiction
A Zulu foundling and a white missionary’s child raised as brothers in a world intent on making them enemies. A sweeping tale of identity, kinship, and atonement, set in 1870s South Africa, a decade of ruthless colonial aggression against the nation’s indigenous people.
Moses, a Zulu baby discovered on a riverbank, and Daniel, the son of white missionaries, are raised as brothers on the Umzinyathi mission in 19th century Zululand, South Africa. As an infant, Daniel narrowly escapes an attack by a rhino and develops an intense corporeal connection to animals which challenges the religious dogma on which he is raised. Despite efforts by his adoptive mother to raise the boys as equals, Moses feels like an outsider to both white and Zulu society, and seeks certainty in astronomy and science. Only through each other do the brothers find a sense of belonging.
At Umzinyathi, Moses and Daniel are cushioned from the harsh realities of the expanding colony in neighboring Natal-where ancient spiritualism is being demonized, vast natural beauty faces rampant destruction, and the wealth of the colonizer depends on the engineered impoverishment of the indigenous. But when they leave the mission to work on a relative’s sugar estate and accompany him on a hunting safari, the boys are thrown into a world that sees their bond as a threat to the colonial order, and must confront an impossible choice: adapting to what society expects of them or staying true to each other.
With elements of magic realism, Eye Brother Horn is the heart-wrenching story of how two children born of vastly different worlds strive to forge a true brotherhood with each other and with other species, and to find ways to heal the deep wounds inflicted by the colonial expansion project.