The Master's Ruse

Schonstein confronts rock-hard issues with this dreamily allegorical, surreal, apocalyptic tale. Her writing is poetically appealing, clear and clever

- Die Burger

Set in a future time when the sea is biologically dead, in a country governed by a regime opposed to literature and free speech, The Master's Ruse is the surrealist narrative of an aging author compromised by harsh laws governing literary freedom.

Stark, searing and eloquent, this novel, cast as an allegorical masterclass and as a memoir of authorship and conscience, reflects on the crafting of fiction and the creative scaffolding that supports it.

It laments the desecration of the earth's fragile infrastructure and considers the power of fiction as a tool for peace.

Review comments:
"The Master"s Ruse has the texture and cadence of ancient fables."
– Deidre Donnelly. Oprah Magazine
"Schonstein confronts rock-hard issues with this dreamily allegorical, surreal, apocalyptic tale. Her writing is poetically appealing, clear and clever. She is fast becoming one of South Africa"s top writers."
"Patricia Schonstein praat oor steenharde sake, soos die mens se verantwoordelikheid tot verset teen die vernietiging van die aarde en teen politieke diktatorskap. Die ­apokaliptiese verhaal is droom­agtig allegories, iewers in 'n ­surrealistiese toekoms geplaas."
– Annemarié van Niekerk. Die Burger
"Even though Patricia does not shrink from exposing the dark and often terrifying realities of our society with utmost honesty, a thread of redemption, peace, hope and light weaves through her narrative."
"Hoewel Patricia Schonstein nie huiwer om die donker en dikwels angs­wekkende realiteite van ons samelewing tot op die been oop te vlek nie, is dit terselfdertyd in haar boeke 'n realiteit wat konstant ­omflans en deurlig word deur die moontlikheid van redding, heling, vrede, uit­sig, lig – in kort: die ­magiese towerkrag van verrassende nuwe moontlikhede, wendinge en ander onbekende en dikwels ­onverkende uitweë. Haar werke word daarom tereg ook as magiese realisme gekarakteriseer."
– Carel Anthonissen. Die Burger
"The Master"s Ruse, with its mystical aura and apocalyptic vision, is mesmerizing, poetic and beautifully written"
– Ute Ben Yosef . Librarian: Jacob Gitlin Library, Cape Town
"The Master"s Ruse is an intriguing, decoratively furnished novel."
- Gorry Bowes-Taylor. Fine Music Radio Book Choice, Cape Town
"The Master"s Ruse boldly reveals the big issues of environmental destruction and political dictatorship."
– Gillian Warren-Brown. The Weekender
"A literary feast – colourful, lyrical, filmic, beautifully woven and beautifully visual."
– Nancy Richards, SABC
"The Master"s Ruse has a strong aura of timelessness and universality. Its probing of the novelist"s creative process is deeply illuminating."
– David Pike. The Sunday Times
"The Master"s Ruse is a unique addition to South African literature and as such should be widely read."
– Alex Smith. Books SA
"A challenging, surrealist narrative."
– Bronwen Dyke. The Big Issue
"A sensational, stunning and gripping novel. A great piece of writing."
– David Friedland, Poet

English: The Master's RuseISBN 978-1-874915-16-4
Published by African Sun Press
158 pages

Afrikaans: Die Meester se Verdigsel Translated by Willemien van der Walt
ISBN 978-0-620-63704-6
Published by African Sun Press
191 pages

Swedish: Mästarens list Translated by Aslög Pontara
ISBN 97 89186307 301
Published by Bokförlaget Tranan 2010