The Whale Caller
Earthy, bizarrely charming, and a tiny bit creepy, Zakes Mda’s lyrical new novel features an unlikely romantic hero: a bushy-bearded South African pensioner whose primary erotic attachment is to Sharisha, a whale. He calls to her with a horn, she responds with orgasmic breaching. Complications arise when the nearly toothless town drunk, Saluni, falls for the Whale Caller, and he, reluctantly, for her. The protagonists aren’t exactly camera-ready, but they act out a strange and thoroughly original love story, which doubles as a potent cautionary tale about the dangers of jealousy.