Robert Dewar was born in Central Africa in the mid 1950s, and was educated in South Africa. He has a degree in History. As a young man he worked as a field guide in Southern Africa, and as a game ranger. In later years he worked as a business researcher and writer. He has lived in East Africa, South Africa, Namibia, the United Kingdom, Malta and the Far East. He now lives in the Scottish Highlands.
I wrote "Mallaig Road" during the Covid lockdowns of 2020 - 2021, as an antidote to anxiety and unhappiness. And a most effective antidote it proved to be. Through the boy-hero, Alexander Maclean, I was able to recall a time in my own life when anxieties were few, and, like unhappiness, were fleeting. I hope the reader too will be transported back in time to a place where anxieties and unhappiness were scarce and fleeting.
The story in "Mallaig Road" (the name of the Cape Town suburban street in which the family home is located), opens in 1965, shortly after Alexander Maclean's tenth birthday, and is set for the most part in Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula. It closes with Alexander's extended visit to the United Kingdom in 1976. He is now twenty-one years old.
Mallaig Road's sequel, "Hemispheres," picks up where "Mallaig Road" leaves off. "Hemispheres" charts the course of Alexander's life through to 2021, by which time he is sixty-six years old. Alexander Maclean has lived a fascinating and at times chaotic life, with repeated journeys between Africa and Britain, and periods spent living in Malta and the Far East.
Both "Mallaig Road" and "Hemispheres" contain some heavily fictionalised autobiographical material. They are, however, primarily works of fiction, and should be read (and I hope, enjoyed) as such.
I have recently completed my third novel, "Of Sidearms and Dinner Jackets," set in British East Africa in the early 1960s, during the last days of European rule. This story, due to be published in late November 2023, is entirely a work of fiction. I very much enjoyed writing the story: it contains high drama, violence, tragedy - and romance - and is set during the final years of a colonial culture and lifestyle located in a region I once knew well.
Societies in a state of collapse, of catastrophic change, have always fascinated me, and "Of Sidearms and Dinner Jackets" charts just such a societal cultural collapse.
I have now completed the first draft of my fourth novel, which is, once again, entirely a work of fiction. With the provisional title of "Nineteen Seventy-Six", the story is located entirely within Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula, during a period of unrest and racial uprising in South Africa. The focus of the story is not, however, on political events during 1976, but on the lives of the characters found in a residential hotel far down the Peninsula. Once again, I write about a region with which I was intensely familiar, during a period I remember well. I hope to see this novel published sometime during 2024.