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THE DEMON OF THE CURRY POWDERS (article first published : 2006-01-31)

Struik Publishers and Adams Booksellers will launch Pieter Scholtz’s The Demon of the Curry Powders illustrated by Miné Jonker on February 15 at 17h30 for 18h00 at the Alliance Française in lower Morningside. The guest speaker will be Devi Rajab.

The Demon of the Curry Powders is the second book for young readers by Pieter Scholtz to be published by Struik Publishers. Tales of the Tokoloshe published last year, was a sell-out success and was reprinted in November.

The Demon of the Curry Powders is an adventure story about a Demon who terrorises a Market and demands a sacrifice. “The setting for the story is the original Indian Market in Durban,” explains Pieter Scholtz, “but it is also a tale about a boy’s journey of discovery; a journey in which he learns to confront his problems and come to terms with them. It is also about the greed and selfishness of people and their struggle to learn about compassion and kindness.

“The tale is intended for young readers, but it may appeal equally to adults who appreciate the role that fantasy and imagination can play in shaping young minds,” adds Pieter.

The story is boldly and evocatively illustrated with full colour illustrations by Miné Jonker. There is also a Glossary at the end of the book for quick reference. The names of the characters in the story, for example, become more meaningful if the Glossary is used, as their personal attributes are frequently indicated through their names (for example Ma Katta - meaning ‘sour’).

There is also a section entitled A Taste of India which contains some recipes and notes on Pappadums (crisp, round wafers), Mithai (sweetmeats), Joss sticks (incense) and home-made Garam Masala (spices).

For the rest, the story explores the rich fabric of life within the marketing community in Durban in the 60’s and reflects many of the customs and beliefs inherent in a closely knit community struggling to preserve its identity.




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