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Interviews
An interview with Tom Eaton PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 13 August 2008 17:00

Author of The Wading (Penguin Books).

What sparked off The Wading? Was there a seed or an obsession that got you started writing?

I often start bits of fiction at the end: an image or a more complete climax sticks with me for a few weeks or months, and then I try to work out how to arrive at that final image. With The Wading I had an image and a conclusion in mind, a particular fate for Muller (one of the two main characters). That conclusion disappeared during the rewrite of the novel, which improved it, but I was happy with the process up to that point, so the rest stayed.

As for the tone and mood as a whole, I've always enjoyed quiet decay, when the natural world takes back spaces that have been abandoned by people. 

How difficult was it to create Cape Formosa? Did you have a clear picture in your head, was it based on somewhere else?

Cape Formosa was more or less intact in my mind from the outset. It's a conglomeration of many places - the Overberg, images I've seen of the Caribbean, parts of South America, and perhaps the South Pacific. I've always associated those places with a comforting decay, where people make do but are ultimately being quietly shunted to the sideline, and where each summer finds the beaches an inch further inland, and the weeds a foot taller. 

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An Interview with Futhi Ntshingila PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 12 April 2008 09:25

Futhi Ntshingila, visiting her home town for the launch of her novel.Futhi Ntshingila’s first novel, Shameless, will strike a chord with local readers. Her central characters, Thandiwe and Zonke, grow up as rural children in Mpumuza, but their lives are torn apart in their early teens by the violence or the late 1980s and early 1990s.

“It comes from my personal experience – some very personal,” says Ntshingila. “I was a teenager of 14 when we had to move to a less conflicted area – and change from a rural life to a semi-urban one.” Hard on all involved, an event like that is particularly traumatic in those already problematic teenage years.

But Ntshingila, who matriculated at Georgetown High, projects no aura of victimhood, nor do her characters, despite their often difficult lives. Thandiwe works as a prostitute in Yeoville. “I make sure the people I write about aren’t victims,” says Ntshingila. “It’s too easy to label people - their thoughts and feelings may well not be what we assume them to be.”

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An Interview with Bree O'Mara PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 April 2008 05:10

author of Home Affairs.

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1.  When did you first start writing?
As soon as I knew how! I used to keep diaries and journals as a child (and still do) and was forever scribbling down notes, phrases and fragments of sentences or thoughts and ideas that came to me. I would also write down words that I’d read that I either didn’t know the meaning of or wanted to use in the future. My first ever professional writing was copy for my father’s advertising agency while I was still at school and I have written professionally in one form or another for most of my working life, although only latterly have I started to write books.  

2. What do you love most about writing?
I love the idea that letters can be arranged into words, and those words, in turn, arranged into phrases that conjure up so many images in the mind of a reader and evoke such an intense range of emotional responses. I am always delighted when a book makes me cry or laugh out loud, and I love the idea that rather like musical composition, it was a particular arrangement of words in a very specific order that elicited that response. I have always loved the written word and adore writing in all its forms, and I still think that an artfully penned letter is a beautiful thing to write and a lasting and lovely thing to receive. 

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