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Johan Steyn’s Father Michael’s Lottery Set for US Release on World Aids Day

Father Michael's LotteryJohan SteynIan McEwan has called it “an important, must-read book”, while for Justin Cartwright it’s a “moving, bleakly funny… dispatch from the front line”. It’s Johan Steyn’s Father Michael’s Lottery, and it’s set for it’s US launch on World Aids Day, 1 December 2007.

In the novel, a beleaguered doctor and his staff struggle to maintain a hospital in a remote, rural community in Africa – one that has not been passed over by the Aids epidemic.

The hospital and its patients do battle against meddlesome superiors, find eccentric saviors from the village and provide readers with an unflinching look at the human cost of ignorance and apathy. The good doctor’s daily struggles for the people, land and wildlife of Africa tell a story of humor and compassion.

Father Michael's Lottery - US CoverLet’s meet the doctor, one of Steyn’s unforgettable characters. His name is John Morgan, rebellious and profane, a healer who thwarts every new rule in his quest to save his patients, most of whom are dying because they lack the resources to buy back their lives with over-priced drugs. His efforts are valiantly supported by the enigmatic Oumar, a likeable Kenyan; the beautiful Violet; and Rebecca, the battleaxe with a heart of gold. Then there is Mary, with her passion for birds, holding Morgan’s heart in her frail hands; Naledi, the success story, who is brought back from the brink of death; and Rastodika, the untameable spirit.

When funds are needed for a kidney transplant, Morgan conspires with the Father Michael of the book’s title to make the rich Mr B organise a Beerfest to pay for the operation. But things don’t work out exactly as they had planned…

Father Michael’s Lottery depicts the complex human reality of Aids with a moving combination of compassion, humour, and defiant indignation. Above all, in its vivid accounts of medical battles won and lost, it asserts the value of attempting to preserve life in the face of near-certain death.

The book is being published in the United States by Schaffner Press, which is arranging for a multi-media presentation featuring Steyn to “air” in certain bookshops on World Aids Day. To purchase Father Michael’s Lottery in the US, click here.

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