There Is a Tree I Lean Against

The poetry of a young Canadian opera singer who moved to South Africa in the tempestuous, final years of apartheid. More
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About Lucretia E. Pretorius

L.E. Pretorius was born in Toronto, Canada and raised in the farmlands of Ontario and French Canada during WW2 and its aftermath. She’s a graduate of Montreal’s McGill University. In the late 1960s she moved with her South African husband, a geologist, and their infant daughter to South Africa, where she accompanied her husband on field trips to San (Bushmen) country, exploring for diamonds for his employer. (Happily, he didn’t find any.) They were tempestuous years, as apartheid was rapidly unraveling and, as it turned out, her marriage. Even so, Lucretia resolutely pursued her formal voice training and performance of opera — her passion from earliest childhood. She writes with the drama and passion of a diva, in spare, beguilingly simple prose reminiscent of Isak Dinesen (“I had a farm in Africa . . . ).

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