This week’s author of the week is Dan Scheffler from South Africa — Sheffler was born in Cape Town in 1970 and in spite of travelling widely, still finds himself living there. After hitch hiking from Cape Town to Nairobi, bundu bashing through remote Indonesia, working in the UK and doing jaunts up and down the East and West coasts of Southern Africa for years, he hasn’t managed to find a town that is more fun than the Cape.
Zakes Mda is a respected academic and one of South Africa’s most recognized authors. And yet for a man with potentially lots to lose, he appears bent on ripping apart his own legacy. His biography, Sometimes There is a Void (published in the USA in 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux) is at once riveting and [...]
Foe is a small sized novel written by the South African author, J.M Coetzee. Published by Viking Press in 1986, it is only a hundred and fifty seven pages. Coetzee retells Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe – a story about a castaway who spends 28 years on a remote island and is later rescued after several encounters with cannibals, insurgents and the likes.
In Youth: Scenes from Provincial Life II, Coetzee distances himself from the younger John by writing what he terms an “autre-biography. Written in the present tense and in the third person, the story has a lively and immediate reality while at the same time suggesting a clear distance between the author and his subject.
The first of J.M. Coetzee’s three fictionalised memoirs, Boyhood narrates his childhood living with his family on a housing estate outside Worcester, a small town some ninety miles from Cape Town. The book written in Coetzee’s usual style – terse, succinct, sparse – is narrated solely through the young boy’s eyes.
Frank Eloff and Laurence Waters, two doctors of different generations, different personalities, and opposing perspectives, are thrown together – sharing a room – when the younger, Laurence, joins the small medical team in a dilapidated hospital in a remote part of South Africa. Damon Galgut, award winning South African author, builds his intense and thought provoking novel around these two opposing characters, their different approaches to the challenges facing the hospital and its community, and, fundamentally, their contrasting beliefs of what is “good”, moral and ethical.
Es’kia Mphahlele’s Down Second Avenue is an autobiographical book that recounts his experiences of Apartheid in South Africa. The book recounts Es’kia’s life story from A – Z – from when he was a young boy living in Marabastad ( in Pretoria) through to when he became an adult and fled the country to go into exile. Es’kia’s account of life under apartheid is vivid: painting the hardships he experienced even as a young boy living with his grandmother.
Initially published in South Africa by Jacana Media in 2010, the book won the 2011 Arthur C. Clarke award for the best science-fiction novel in the U.K. The book’s hard-headed plot carefully blends ambiguous heroes and juicy villains, dragging the reader along a half reinvented Johannesburg plagued by crime, superstition and bad teen pop music.
This is a simple story of two worlds; one, the underbelly of urban Dar-es-Salaam where Moses the child vagrant stakes his claim to eke out a living and the other, the wilderness of Tanzania where man remains an unwelcome intruder. The author, Mark Thornton, is an internationally respected wilderness safari guide and conservationist.