Toby Lichtig

I’m A Believer

Praying Mantis


Secker & Warburg 280pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Kupido Kakkerlak (Cupido Cockroach) was a Khoikhoin (or ‘Hottentot’) slave boy, born in the mid eighteenth century on the Southern African Cape. After gaining his freedom and celebrating it with a youth of wild carousing, he was converted to Christianity by missionaries and spent his life preaching the Gospel to anyone who would listen. But, stationed in an arid outpost with little more than stones and shrubs for a congregation, he was eventually abandoned by the Missionary Society, to which he had given his life. In Praying Mantis, André Brink gives his story a fictional reworking.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter