By Dr Martin R Fisher
The book has taken its main theme from an ancient Egyptian Myth:
When Ra, the great God of all the Heavens looked out into the world of men, he saw that they walked in fear and lived in darkness, their lives little better than those of the beasts.
And he said to Osiris the Sun God, “What shall we do to elevate man, so that he may become human?”
And Osiris replied, “Until they have light, they will never see the world of possibilities beyond their fears”.
“Then who will we send to bring them this light?” asked Rha the Great God.
“I shall go,” said Osiris.
Then Rha took the great hammer in the heavens and shattered Osiris the Sun God into millions of splinters of light which fell on the earth and into the hearts of all men. And then Rha saw the reflection of face of Osiris in each deed of kindness, each act of love pouring from the hearts of men.
The book was written over a period of three years. It is not strictly biographical, despite appearing to be so. Most of the events depicted were inspired by direct experience and transformed into a narrative, appropriate for presenting more objectively the events that transpired.
The story introduces the reader to events that took place in South Africa between the end of the 2nd World War and the main character’s incarceration in 1963. It unveils the hidden impact of the growing specter of separate development and its impact upon a working class white family. The bleakness of this social setup is contrasted by the goodness of individuals who reflect light and human goodness, despite the narrow prescriptions of racially prescribed identities.
There are three parts to the plot:
• Formative years and early incursions of political change.
• Childhood and Adolescence with intrusion of Separate Development.
• Young adulthood with Reaction and Consequences of resistance.
In each of these phases the story mirrors the presence of persons who embodied the underlying truth of the Egyptian Myth of Osiris.
Synopsis – Fragments of the Sun
Do we truly understand what we do when we spontaneously reach out and help another person? Is there some way we can know that our smallest deed of kindness has an effect beyond the moment? This is a story about ordinary people who, without seeking personal gain reach out and assist Nathan to surmount his worst fears and realize his individual potential.
Nathan is born into a white South African family with a darker skin than most. Being swarthy, he experiences the unique challenges of trying to forge a personal identity within a society rapidly becoming racially divided, self-protective and insular.
With both humor and sadness, the narrative unveils Nathan’s different encounters with people within his community. He meets people who enable him to rise above the narrows confines of his fear entrenched world, dominated by the specter of racial segregation. Despite the growing fragmentation of the local community of which he was a part, he encounters compassion and gentle dignity which inspire him to move beyond the social restrictions imposed through his questionable identity.
Based on actual events, the story depicts the often hidden structures of South African society, where no one was immune to the challenges facing a divided country during the uncertain years following the Second World War.
Seen through the eyes of a child it unmasks the subtle intrusions of social forces alive in a fractured society. Nathan struggles to reconcile his personal experience with those assumptions used as a basis for segregation. His life and that of thousands of families is irrevocably altered, when in 1948, the Nationalist government decided to remove children of color from white schools.
The events described unfold against the backdrop of South Africa’s growing isolation between 1948 and 1963, culminating in 1990, with Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.
The narrative serves as a reflection of our human ability to rise above the narrow social and personal identity definitions handed to us by those whose inadequacies are obscured within their own secret fears.
It is a tribute to those persons who, with kindness, spontaneously revealed their true selves, enabling Nathan to rise above his own limited personal expectations and of those imposed by his community.
Available now in Kindle format. Other formats coming soon!