Banquet at Brabazan
In Banquet at Brabazan, Patricia Schonstein takes us to the heart of Cape Town’s violent inner city, creating a cornucopia of events featuring superb food, romance, a cappella, an angel, Shakespearean drama, reflections on South Africa’s war in Angola, drug-money, a muti murder, visions of the Afterlife and various works of fine art with flashbacks to the wondrous A Time of Angels.
The novel is rich with her characteristic use of fabric, fine-art, poetry and magic as well as her deep and philosophical questioning of the human condition.
At core, Banquet at Brabazan is the story of an enduring, secret love affair between a boss and his secretary who create a fantastical, magical, theatrical, costumed, Italianate life for themselves within the confines of her apartment.
Outside of that contrived space, exists the real world of loneliness, xenophobia and crime that have come to mark post-apartheid South Africa.
Patricia Schonstein deftly leads us through both worlds, allowing the lives of a small group of people, who have not met before, to intersect over a period of ten days at Brabazan Bar & Lodge, in Long Street, Cape Town. Here she reveals a poignant and beautiful patina of hope and love.
With this, her sixth novel, Patricia affirms herself as one of South Africa’s leading authors and a master of magic-realism.