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Henrietta Rose-Innes

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Rob Gaylard finds “comic, gothic, social realist” in Nineveh

I’m very pleased that  Nineveh is still getting reviews, six months after publication: LitNet a couple of weeks ago, and now the Cape Argus.

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.

Book homepage at RHS
Buy here or on Kindle or e-book.

Litnet finds ‘deep ecology’ theme in Nineveh

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.

Satanic Verses unbanning petition

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)

See also this piece by Hari Kunzru on the scandal at the JLF. And this on Rushdie’s reaction.

Puff Adder: a short short story

‘Puff Adder’ is a mini story I wrote for ELLE magazine 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.

Nineveh at Fish Hoek Library

I’m talking about my novel Nineveh at Fish Hoek Library tomorrow morning at 10am. R15 donation, books on sale, free tea.

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2011

Very happy that my story ‘Homing’ is in Dave Eggers’ The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2011 – described as ‘An eclectic volume introduced by Guillermo del Toro and compiled by Dave Eggers and students of his San Francisco writing center, who don’t leave a stone unturned in their search for nonrequired gems.’

The Best American Nonrequired Reading is an annual anthology of fiction and nonfiction selected by Eggers and high school students in California and Michigan.

‘Required reading is the stuff that’s supposed to be on the test. Nonrequired reading often is more interesting. That’s the case with this quirky collection’ — USA Today

Two more Nineveh reviews

Thanks so much to Ken Barris for the lovely Nineveh review in the Cape Times last week, and to Maureen Isaacson for the detailed follow-up to our M&G Festival discussion in the Sunday Independent the week before that. I haven’t been able to find either of these online, so I’m posting them here as pdfs:

Nineveh review – CapeTimes 23 Sep 11

Nineveh Review – Sunday Independent 18 Sep 11















Thanks, Kalk Bay Books

Big thanks to Kalk Bay Books, the Annex Restaurant, Justin Fox, RHS and everybody who came along to the Nineveh launch last night  – I had a great time, and was very grateful for your support. The book feels properly out in the world now.

Nineveh: dates for August, September

I’m looking forward to introducing my new novel, Nineveh, at several events over the next few weeks.

August 17: I’ll be doing a reading and chatting about the book at the excellent Wynberg Library.

August 26: We launch Nineveh at wonderful Kalk Bay Books: 6pm for 6.30pm. I’ll be chatting to Justin Fox.

September 4th: I’ll be at the Mail & Guardian Johannesburg Literary Festival. Delighted to be on a panel with Cynthia Jele and Jassy Mackenzie, talking about New writing from the city” and chaired by Maureen Isaacson. Laager Theatre, 11.45am to 1pm.

September 5th: There’ll be a Jo’burg launch at the marvellous Love Books in Melville, which hosted my Homing launch last year – as before, in conversation with Louis Greenberg, who edited Nineveh with such flair.

September 21st:  Launch of Nineveh at the overwhelmingly exciting Open Book Festival – details to come.

September 22-24: various fun events at Open Book, including Writers’ Sports, meet-the author dinner and readings with musical accompaniment – details to come.

Talking about Nineveh at Wynberg Library

I’ll be talking about my new novel, Nineveh, and the influence of Cape Town on my writing at Wynberg Library on Wednesday 17th August 2011 at 6 pm.

It’ll be particularly nostalgic for me, as Wynberg was the library of my early childhood. In the seventies, I spent many intense hours in that kids’ section.

We’ll also be launching Nineveh soon at Kalk Bay Books, and at the Open Book Festival in September – details to come.