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Showing posts from May, 2010

[Interview] Bettina Wyngaard

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South African novelist, Bettina Wyngaard made her debut as an author with the publication of Troos vir die gebrokenes (Umuzi, 2009) - a novel about three generations of Afrikaans-speaking black women, dealing with issues like domestic violence, alcohol abuse, and crime. The novel was subsequently shortlisted for the Jan Rabie Rapport Prize , which is awarded to a debut or early work characterised by fresh and innovative Afrikaans prose. In this interview, Bettina Wyngaard talks about her writing: What made you decide you wanted to be a published writer? I’m not even sure that it was a decision, as much as an urge, a compulsion, if you will, to return to writing. I write mostly in Afrikaans, but have never really felt comfortable with the Afrikaans literature that is available out there. I felt it did not really reflect my reality, with the result that I read mostly English. Eventually, I realised that instead of complaining and bemoaning the lack of fiction reflecting my realit

[Interview] Magdalena Ball

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In earlier interviews, poet, storyteller and literary activist, Magdalena Ball talked about the factors that made her start writing, her concerns as a writer and about her debut novel , Sleep Before Evening . Since then she has gone on to publish She Wore Emerald Then , a poetry chapbook written in collaboration with Carolyn Howard-Johnson. The chapbook was a finalist in the USA Book News 2009 NBBA Best Book Awards. She Wore Emerald Then was followed by Repulsion Thrust (Bewrite Books, 2009), a full length, solo poetry collection whcih tackles subjects like quantum physics, astronomy, time travel, ecological destruction, and technological singularity, all viewed through the lens of the human condition. Below, Magdalena Ball talks about the work she is currently doing: How would you describe Repulsion Thrust ? My latest book is Repulsion Thrust , which is out from Bewrite Books . It's a poetry book which is in three sections. The first has an overall theme of "The Bla

[Book Review] Mailer and Gibran's alternative Gospels

In 2007, when I was browsing through the shelves at the Dudley Library, looking and hoping I’d find one or two titles by Dambudzo Marechera , I came across The Gospel According to the Son . The title was like a magnet. Many years earlier, while browsing through the shelves of a bookstore in Harare, Zimbabwe I’d stumbled upon Kahlil Gibran’s Jesus, the Son of Man and I’d been completely taken in by the idea of a novel about Jesus Christ. I’d found Gibran’s book so engaging that it’s now top on the list of books I keep reading and re-reading. Norman Mailer’s Gospel According to the Son is also joining that list. The two books are similar to each other. They are both based on the Gospels. They both take a familiar story and they re-imagine and re-tell it. They both present an imaginative account of the life and work of Jesus Christ and explore the effect that Jesus had on the lives, hearts and minds of the people he lived and worked among. The story in both books is presented in the