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Saturday, January 16, 2010

A. A. Murray

The Blanket by A. A. Murray (Digit Books R445, 1961) Cover by R. A. Osborne
Lepotane, son of the chief of a remote village in Basutoland, becomes innocently involved in a ritual murder which goes awry. Later he turns King's Evidence without understanding what he is doing, and is set free when his father is hanged. He returns home puzzled and horrified under a burden of guilt and shame at having betrayed his people.
"Simple, dramatic and entirely successful," said the Evening Standard of The Blanket, a story of intrigue and murder set in Africa. The book's author had lived for years in Basutoland and the settings, lives and rituals are presumably authentic.

Audrey Alison Turner was born 28 March 1910 and was the wife of civil servant Robert Everitt King Murray (b. 3 December 1902), whom she married in 1933. They had a daughter, Jennifer G. Murray (b. 25 May 1936). The family lived in Basutoland and South Africa. Robert Murray, who was awarded the O.B.E., was living at Villa Bambi, Ave des Ferrayonnes, Villeneuve, Loubet 6270, France, when he died on 10 May 1991. It seems likely that his wife also died in France.

The Blanket. London, Andre Deutsch, 1957; New York, Vanguard Press, 1958.
Anybody's Spring. London, Andre Deutsch, 1959.
Hat Over the Moon. London, W. H. Allen, 1964.

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