Bartle Logie’s eighth book, Tales from an Unmapped Country, launched at a function at the St Francis Links in St Francis Bay last week, is his best book to date.
This is the opinion of Professor Richard Cowling, research professor of botany at NMMU, who was the guest speaker at the launch. Logie, a retired school principal, has known Cowling for some time.
“Why? Because Tales from an Unmapped Country is part travelogue and part memoir. The memoir part gives fascinating insights into a profoundly good man, a humanist, historian, teller of stories and – most importantly – a man of sound values, kind and compassionate,” Cowling said.
“And we learn so much. Did you know that Bart associated with communists, performed in numerous Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, taught at leftist schools, hitch-hiked vast distances to distant lands, and was a neighbour and admirer of Eric Rosenthal of Test the Team fame and sold one of his artworks to Walter Batiss?
“The ‘unmapped country’ that he takes us to is the world where the distinction between fact and fiction become blurred: the world of our memories.
“The mapped country is the Eastern Cape, where Bart and Caryl take us on journeys – along mapped roads – to familiar places (indeed, many have been home to family members) “to see how they have changed.
The stimulus for the trip came from a local friend, Kain Sisusa. He asked Bart to visit his village in the old Transkei so that “when you come back, you will be able to tell me the truth, but not hurt my heart. I don’t want to go there myself, it will make my heart too sore”.
“So the mapped, unmapped (and, perhaps, the “to be mapped”) mingle comfortably and delightfully in this book,” said Cowling.
He urged the author to consider writing a memoir, the full story of his life.
Speaking at the launch, which was attended by nearly 100 people, Logie said that the name of the book had caused some conjecture.
“It is from a quote by George Eliot, the nom de plume of 19th century poet, novelist and journalist Mary Ann Evans, and deals with the ‘unmapped country’ within us.”
Tales from an Unmapped Country may be purchased from The Book & I in St Francis Bay, Fogarty’s in Walmer, Port Elizabeth, and online, both locally and internationally from ww.writeonpublishing.co.za/store and Amazon. There is also a Kindle version available from Amazon.
For more information on Logie and his work, visit www.bartlelogiebooks.co.za.