For people outside South Africa who might want to get hold of my books: I’m very pleased to report that my novel Nineveh and my short-story collection Homing are finally available as eBooks on Amazon and Amazon UK.
I’m looking forward to my two events at the upcoming Edinburgh International Book Festival. Many exciting writers will be there, including familiar faces Achmat Dangor, Lauren Beukes, Patrick Flanery, Sifiso Mzobe, Deon Meyer, Marli Roode and Sindiwe Magona.
On 19 August, I’ll take part in the Amnesty International Imprisoned Writers Series, 5.30 to 6.15pm in the Peppers Theatre. In this series, writers show solidarity with persecuted writers around the world by reading from their work. The theme for the day is Remembering Forgotten Prisoners, and I’ll read a piece by Chinese writer Nien Cheng.
On 26 August, I’ll be talking with Sifiso Mzobe on the panel New Voices from South Africa, with discussion led by Nick Barley.
I’m excited to be appearing at the 2013 Edinburgh International Book Festival, 10-26 Aug. I’ll be talking with Sifiso Mzobe on a panel New Voices from South Africa. Other invited writers of particular interest to SA readers are Achmat Dangor, Lauren Beukes, Patrick Flanery, Deon Meyer, Marli Roode and Sindiwe Magona. (There may be some I’ve missed – it’s a massive programme with many wonderful writers on it.)
I believe there are still places available for next week’s UCT Summer School course, “Writers Reading: Favourite Recent Books“, 28 Jan – 1 Feb, 11.15 am.
The line-up is:
1. Michiel Heyns on: “An absence of love: three journeys around the self: In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut”
2. Finuala Dowling on: “Poems to find your way home by: Other Signs by Ingrid de Kok”
3. Imraan Coovadia on: “Contemporary Russian satire and werewolves: The Sacred Book of the Werewolf by Victor Pelevin”
4. Yewande Omotoso on: “The pains and solaces of twinhood: 26a by Diana Evans”
5. Henrietta Rose-Innes on: “Demanding ghosts: a psychic comedy: Beyond Black by Hilary
Next week, Tues 7th August, at GIPCA’s “5 Thoughts” event, I’ll be presenting a sample of the work I’ve been doing as a 2012 Fellow. I’ll be showing a series of wall-mounted texts on the topic of extinctions, touching on museums, zoos, lost animals and raising the dead. I’ll also be introducing my novel-in-progress, Green Lion.
Also presenting their exciting work – dance, photography, film and multi-media – will be GIPCA fellows Michael MacGarry, Richard Antrobus, Jared Thorne and Mamela Nyamza. See the full programme here. 5pm – 7pm, Hiddingh Hall, free entrance. The texts will be on display at the Michaelis Gallery.
I recently did three interviews on three excellent literary blogs. On Africa is a Country with Brett Davidson, and with Geoff Gyasi of Geosi Reads, I talked about Nineveh, writing, the Caine Prize, etc. And, here on Books LIVE, I submitted to the notorious “Proust Questionnaire”, administered by Alex Smith.
In the Argus, Rob Gaylard writes that the novel is ”a thought-provoking, densely imagined work of fiction in which no detail is out of place. It is a seamless and unusual blend of different modes of writing – the comic, the gothic and the social realist. It will appeal to any reader willing to ask questions and probe beneath the surface of our familiar urban reality.”
Read snippets of the collected reviews here.
In a review on Litnet, Elzette Steenkamp calls Nineveh a “densely woven narrative that ingeniously maintains the wavering balance between personal tragedy and wider social commentary” (my translation).
Interestingly, Steenkamp perceives a theme of ‘deep ecology’ in the book. She quotes environmentalist Neil Evernden, which I thought was very apt:
“Where do we draw the line between one creature and another? Where does one organism stop and another begin? Is there even a boundary between you and the non-living world, or will the atoms on this page be a part of your body tomorrow?”
This joins a gratifying collection of positive reviews of Nineveh, grouped here. Thank you so much, critics and readers, for all your thoughtful responses.
In the aftermath of Salman Rushdie’s withdrawal (under threat) from the Jaipur Literature Festival, an online petition is calling for the unbanning of ‘The Satanic Verses’ in India. You don’t have to be Indian to sign. (Via @aminattaforna and @salmanrushdie)
‘Puff Adder’ is a mini story I wrote for ELLE magazine www.elle.co.za. It’s in the current (November) edition. Fantastic that the mag is commissioning fiction.
I’m curious about people in cars. In traffic, I watch them through back windscreens or in my rear-view mirror, doing what people do when they think they’re unobserved: singing, picking noses, gaping at the world. I like to see a driver and passenger, laughing across the space between them. It’s an intimate view, a conversation framed. The travellers are focused on each other or on the road ahead: they don’t feel my eyes sneaking up from behind to touch
the backs of their necks.
This dorp is too small to have a rush hour, but I still get held up behind a green car at the town’s single stop sign …
Read the full story here: puff adder – or in the November mag.