Clive Cooke

Biography

Worked for thirty years in the petrochemical industry in production and marketing, recently retired. Published four books. Intends to devote more time to writing and to travelling.

Specializes in small-scale dramas rather than in epics. A shrewd observer of the complexities of human behavior. Loves contradictions and uncertainties. Health warning: there are several unexploded land mines buried in my writing. The reader is advised to tread warily.

Traveled extensively in Europe, North, Central and South America. Speaks four languages. Photograph: I'm the one on the left wearing the hat.

Books

Book 20- Streets Paved with Gold
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Series: Streets Paved with Gold. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,650. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: February 6, 2015. Category: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
The first story is loosely based on the discovery of diamonds on the beaches of the skeleton coast at the mouth of the Orange River. The second story follows the career of a country boy whose first love is running. He participates in a one hundred kilometer ultra-marathon as an unofficial entry and does well, but not well enough.
Book 19- Streets Paved with Gold
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Series: Streets Paved with Gold. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,330. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: December 19, 2014. Category: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
The first story follows the first battle of the Anglo-Boer War of 1899 as it unfolds from letters sent home by the troopers and from dispatches by their officers. The differing points of view are contrasted. The second story relates the attempts by illegal immigrants to cross over the border in search of a better life. The lives of two unrelated families crossing the river become entwined.
Book 18- Streets Paved with Gold
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Series: Streets Paved with Gold. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,400. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: December 12, 2014. Category: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
This story is set in the 1960s. A Scottish family farms near the Nkandla Forest in Zululand where the final battle of the Zulu uprising of 1906 took place. The family has a connection with the rebellion as their grandfather was in command of the force which put down the rebels. The rebel leader Bambatha was never caught. His ghost is believed to haunt the forest. Do you believe in ghosts?
Book 17- Streets Paved with Gold
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Series: Streets Paved with Gold. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,160. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: November 28, 2014. Category: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
In the first short story, a child hitches a ride on the fishmonger’s cart. His parents are frantic with worry over his disappearance. The portrait of childhood innocence is set against the background of the political disturbances of the day where coloured people were forcibly removed from “white suburbs”. The second story is an African version of Shakespeare’s play: A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Book 16- Streets Paved with Gold
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Series: Streets Paved with Gold. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,920. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: November 18, 2014. Category: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
The first story is loosely based on African folklore. The Crocodile Queen rules over a unique tribe whose centuries old culture is disturbed by the intrusion of the modern world. The second story is set on a remote farm during the Anglo-Boer war of 1899. The family hosts a tramp on his way from the coast. When a Boer Commando arrives, it is the tramp who is abducted, not the farmer.
Book 15- Streets Paved with Gold
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Series: Streets Paved with Gold. Price: Free! Words: 5,470. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: October 26, 2014. Category: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
This sketch chronicles life on the streets in the big city as seen through the eyes of two street vendors. The informal economy is, for many people, the only way to survive. However, two middle-aged women, Lebo and Dimpho, discover that having a powerful friend can also be useful in the battle for survival.
Book 14- Streets Paved with Gold
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Series: Streets Paved with Gold. Price: Free! Words: 5,380. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: October 24, 2014. Category: Fiction » Historical » General
The year is 1901 during the Anglo-Boer war. A small town in the Northern Cape is under siege by the Boers. Food in the town is in short supply. Officially, the indigenous black and brown population are not involved in the war. It is a white man’s war. However, food shortages affect everyone. Bullets and shells kill indiscriminately. Can one really say it is a white man’s war?
Book 13- Streets Paved with Gold
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Series: Streets Paved with Gold. Price: Free! Words: 4,170. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: October 12, 2014. Category: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
This story is set in the Kalahari Desert. The shaman of a Khoi Bushman clan sends young !Goab on a mission. A drought has been ravaging their community for three years and the survival of the family depends on the success of his mission. However, !Goab’s task is put at risk when he finds a bushman girl dying of thirst and hunger. Should he abandon his mission or rather leave her to die?
Book 12- Streets Paved with Gold
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Series: Streets Paved with Gold. Price: Free! Words: 5,250. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: October 11, 2014. Category: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
Cathy, a young woman of twenty three, moves house. She is overjoyed at owning her first flat. Her friends help her with the move. The place is warm and comfortable. However, soon after settling in, things start to go wrong and she suspect that someone is using witchcraft against her. Her only solution is to fight fire with fire.
Book 11- Streets Paved with Gold
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Series: Streets Paved with Gold. Price: Free! Words: 4,020. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: October 10, 2014. Category: Fiction » Historical » General
The year is 1879 at the outbreak of the Anglo-Zulu war. Lord Chelmsford leads his troops across the Natal border into Zulu territory. After a small skirmish, the troops are hugely over-confident, expecting the enemy to run away at the first encounter. However, the Zulus are determined to fight. We follow the story of a young Welsh trooper more interested in entomology than in fighting.
Book 10 Streets Paved with Gold
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Series: Streets Paved with Gold, Book 10. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,230. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: August 11, 2014. Category: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
The first story is an “Aesop’s Fable” from the African bush. A greedy honey badger learns a lesson about the African tradition of “Ubuntu” or sharing. The second story, The Snoek Run, is a sketch about the west coast fishermen and the lives they lead. Snoek are a type of fish related to the mackerel sometimes growing up to two meters in length.
Book 9 Streets Paved with Gold
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Series: Streets Paved with Gold, Book 9. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,440. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: July 22, 2014. Category: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
In the first story, a young Xhosa woman is busy cleaning her father’s grave when a stranger appears, claiming that her father is buried in the grave. The confusion is a problem not only for the two women but also for the ancestors. In the second story, a hero in the struggle for freedom is awarded a medal. This gives him an opportunity to reflect on whether his sacrifice was worth it.
Book 8 Streets Paved with Gold
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Series: Streets Paved with Gold, Book 8. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,880. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: July 21, 2014. Category: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
These two stories continue the African theme. The first is a love story set in Cape Town during the Minstrel Carnival. The carnival is a 100-year old festival amongst the coloured community where minstrel bands compete for trophies. The second is a bitter-sweet story about the scourge of AIDS. A benevolent employer teaches her gardener how to drive, with unforeseen consequences.
Book 7 Streets Paved with Gold
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Series: Streets Paved with Gold, Book 7. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,930. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: July 21, 2014. Category: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
These two short stories continue the African theme. The first story is about a ladies’ savings club, a characteristic feature of urban, working-class black women. The story is light and humorous. The second is darker in tone. The story is about young, Zulu country boy seeking his fortune in the big city. It is an African version of Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist”.
Book 6 Streets Paved with Gold
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Series: Streets Paved with Gold, Book 6. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,540. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: July 21, 2014. Category: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
These two short stories continue the African theme. The first story is about an eight year old Zulu herd boy looking after his family’s cattle. It is based on a children’s nursery rhyme: “Mother Caught a Flea”. The tone of the second story is darker. It chronicles the life of a young woman torn between traditional Zulu culture and a western value system.
Stirring the Pot
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Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 101,310. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: September 4, 2013. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
This book comprises 21 short stories. ‘Murder 101’, is about jealousy, revenge and murder. ‘Streets Paved with Gold’, follows the lives of ordinary people in South Africa about 40-50 years ago with the socio-political events of the day as background (The Pass laws, The Mixed Marriages Act). The ‘Paddafontein’ stories are light, humorous sketches of village life in the Karoo 70-80 years ago.
A Girl's Best Friend
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Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 41,610. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: June 3, 2013. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
This collection of nine short stories has diamonds and human greed as themes. The first eight are humorous sketches. We meet a brother and a sister competing for their inheritance. We see the “wives” of a bigamist plotting revenge and a young man trying to steal from his company. The ninth is a novella tracing the lives of successive owners of a large diamond which has unusual properties.
Book 5 - Streets Paved with Gold
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Series: Streets Paved with Gold, Book 5. Price: Free! Words: 3,940. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: March 28, 2013. Category: Fiction » Literary collections » African
This is a story about a young migrant worker who made good in the big city and returns home after several years’ absence. He makes a grand entrance into his village showing off his material wealth. However, his family and the village elders teach him a lesson in “uBuntu” the African tradition of sharing.
Book 4 - Streets Paved with Gold
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Series: Streets Paved with Gold, Book 4. Price: Free! Words: 2,530. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: March 28, 2013. Category: Fiction » Literary collections » African
This serious short story is set in South Africa during the 1950-1960s and traces the effect that the influx control laws had on the families of migrant workers.
Book 3 - Streets Paved with Gold
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Series: Streets Paved with Gold, Book 3. Price: Free! Words: 3,210. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: March 28, 2013. Category: Fiction » Literary collections » African
This short story poses the question: where does one draw the boundary between a husband’s infidelity and a polygamous marriage in traditional African society?
Book 2 Streets Paved with Gold
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Series: Streets Paved with Gold, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 4,840. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: March 28, 2013. Category: Fiction » Literary collections » African
This story is set about forty years ago at the time when laws were passed forbidding mixed marriages and sex across the colour bar. The main character in the story is faced with a moral dilemma: whether to co-operate with the authorities and betray his respected mentor for breaking the law, or whether to sacrifice a friend in order to protect his mentor.
Book 1 - Streets Paved with Gold
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Series: Streets Paved with Gold, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 5,380. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: March 28, 2013. Category: Fiction » Literary collections » African
Johannesburg, the city of gold! The streets, so it was thought, were literally paved with gold. Millions of migrants flocked to the city every year looking for work. This story, set in the 1960s, follows the fortunes of a migrant worker at a time when influx control caused untold hardships for many.
Heard It on the Grapevine
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Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 87,500. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: March 2, 2013. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
This collection of short stories ranges from light and humorous to serious. The eight stories about corporate culture are highly satirical. Pity Frank, the project manager, running around in circles trying to satisfy every boss and his dog. Learn the secrets of the Corporate Smile. Recognize the sociopath manager. Meet the team of demotivated subordinates.

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