2014 Sunday Times Fiction Prize Shortlist

Over the weekend people in the Western Cape of South Africa got to enjoy the Franschoek Literature Festival where the shortlist for the Sunday Times Fiction Prize was announced.  Here is the 2014 Shortlist:

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

The Shining Girls

Publisher Blurb:

Chicago, 1931. A strange house gives serial-killer Harper the power to travel through time; to hunt and kill his ‘shining girls’. They’re bright young women full of spark – until he cuts it out of them, leaving clues from different times behind to taunt fate. Kirby, the 90s girl, survives his attack and turns the hunt around. Tracing Harper’s bloody trail of victims – from a glowing dancer in the 30s to a tough welder in the 40s and a bombshell architect in the 50s – Kirby is running out of time trying to solve an impossible mystery. And Harper is heading towards her once again. – See more at: http://www.randomstruik.co.za/books/the-shining-girls/5011#sthash.zBwE42nn.dpuf

Chicago, 1931. A strange house gives serial-killer Harper the power to travel through time; to hunt and kill his ‘shining girls’. They’re bright young women full of spark – until he cuts it out of them, leaving clues from different times behind to taunt fate. Kirby, the 90s girl, survives his attack and turns the hunt around. Tracing Harper’s bloody trail of victims – from a glowing dancer in the 30s to a tough welder in the 40s and a bombshell architect in the 50s – Kirby is running out of time trying to solve an impossible mystery. And Harper is heading towards her once again.

GoodReads

False River by Dominique Botha

False River

Publisher Blurb:

“You are too close to the water,” Paul whispered. “There are barbels in the mud. They will wake up if you step on them.”  When Paul and Dominique are sent to boarding schools in Natal, their idyllic childhood on a Free State farm is over. Their parents’ leftist politics has made life impossible in the local dorp school. Angry schoolboy Paul is a promising poet, his sister his confidant. But his literary awakening turns into a descent. He flees the oppression of South Africa, only to meet his death in London.  Dominique Botha’s poignant debut is an elegy to a rural existence and her brother – both now forever lost. The novel is based on true events.

GoodReads

“You are too close to the water,” Paul whispered. “There are barbels in the mud. They will wake up if you step on them.”

When Paul and Dominique are sent to boarding schools in Natal, their idyllic childhood on a Free State farm is over. Their parents’ leftist politics has made life impossible in the local dorp school. Angry schoolboy Paul is a promising poet, his sister his confidant. But his literary awakening turns into a descent. He flees the oppression of South Africa, only to meet his death in London.

Dominique Botha’s poignant debut is an elegy to a rural existence and her brother – both now forever lost. The novel is based on true events. – See more at: http://www.randomstruik.co.za/books/false-river/5115#sthash.1GNkLgGR.dpuf

Penumbra by Songeziwe Mahlangu

Penumbra

Publisher Blurb:

Mangaliso Zolo is a hapless recent graduate, still living in the southern suburbs of Cape Town near the university. Manga has an office job at a large insurance company, but he is anonymous and overlooked in this vast bureaucracy.   Penumbra charts Manga’s daily struggles with mental illness and the twin pull, from his many friends and acquaintances, between a reckless drug-fuelled lifestyle and charismatic Christianity. The novel brings an alternative experience of Cape Town to life, one far removed from both the gloss of tourism brochures and the familiar poverty of the Cape Flats. Mahlangu’s voice is unlike anything South African literature has yet seen and this debut novel dissects young, urban slackers in South Africa with startling precision.

GoodReads

 

The Spiral House by Claire Robertson

The Spiral House

Publisher Blurb:

A grand tale of love, wig-making and the Enlightenment set in the Cape Colony.  Katrijn van der Caab, freed slave and wigmaker’s apprentice, travels with her eccentric employer from Cape Town to Vogelzang, a remote farm where a hairless girl needs their services. The year is 1794, it is the age of enlightenment, and on Vogelzang the master is conducting strange experiments in human breeding and classification. It is also here that Trijn falls in love.  Two hundred years later and a thousand miles away, Sister Vergilius, a nun at a mission hospital, wants to free herself from an austere order. It is 1961 and her life intertwines with that of a gentleman farmer – an Englishman and suspected Com­munist – who collects and studies insects and lives a solitary life. While a group of Americans arrive in a cavalcade of caravans and a new republic is about to be born, desire is unfurling slowly.  In Claire Robertson’s majestic debut novel, two stories echo across centuries to expose that which binds us and sets us free.

GoodReads

A grand tale of love, wig-making and the Enlightenment set in the Cape Colony.

Katrijn van der Caab, freed slave and wigmaker’s apprentice, travels with her eccentric employer from Cape Town to Vogelzang, a remote farm where a hairless girl needs their services. The year is 1794, it is the age of enlightenment, and on Vogelzang the master is conducting strange experiments in human breeding and classification. It is also here that Trijn falls in love.

Two hundred years later and a thousand miles away, Sister Vergilius, a nun at a mission hospital, wants to free herself from an austere order. It is 1961 and her life intertwines with that of a gentleman farmer – an Englishman and suspected Com­munist – who collects and studies insects and lives a solitary life. While a group of Americans arrive in a cavalcade of caravans and a new republic is about to be born, desire is unfurling slowly.

In Claire Robertson’s majestic debut novel, two stories echo across centuries to expose that which binds us and sets us free. – See more at: http://randomstruik.co.za/books/the-spiral-house/4965#sthash.vW4mIcJA.dpuf

A grand tale of love, wig-making and the Enlightenment set in the Cape Colony.

Katrijn van der Caab, freed slave and wigmaker’s apprentice, travels with her eccentric employer from Cape Town to Vogelzang, a remote farm where a hairless girl needs their services. The year is 1794, it is the age of enlightenment, and on Vogelzang the master is conducting strange experiments in human breeding and classification. It is also here that Trijn falls in love.

Two hundred years later and a thousand miles away, Sister Vergilius, a nun at a mission hospital, wants to free herself from an austere order. It is 1961 and her life intertwines with that of a gentleman farmer – an Englishman and suspected Com­munist – who collects and studies insects and lives a solitary life. While a group of Americans arrive in a cavalcade of caravans and a new republic is about to be born, desire is unfurling slowly.

In Claire Robertson’s majestic debut novel, two stories echo across centuries to expose that which binds us and sets us free. – See more at: http://randomstruik.co.za/books/the-spiral-house/4965#sthash.vW4mIcJA.dpuf

A grand tale of love, wig-making and the Enlightenment set in the Cape Colony.

Katrijn van der Caab, freed slave and wigmaker’s apprentice, travels with her eccentric employer from Cape Town to Vogelzang, a remote farm where a hairless girl needs their services. The year is 1794, it is the age of enlightenment, and on Vogelzang the master is conducting strange experiments in human breeding and classification. It is also here that Trijn falls in love.

Two hundred years later and a thousand miles away, Sister Vergilius, a nun at a mission hospital, wants to free herself from an austere order. It is 1961 and her life intertwines with that of a gentleman farmer – an Englishman and suspected Com­munist – who collects and studies insects and lives a solitary life. While a group of Americans arrive in a cavalcade of caravans and a new republic is about to be born, desire is unfurling slowly.

In Claire Robertson’s majestic debut novel, two stories echo across centuries to expose that which binds us and sets us free. – See more at: http://randomstruik.co.za/books/the-spiral-house/4965#sthash.vW4mIcJA.dpuf

Wolf, Wolf by Eben Venter

Wolf, wolf

Publisher Blurb:

He presses the button to activate the screen of the CCTV system: two sharply pointed dog’s ears. A wolfhound; except that a wolfhound can’t reach that high. He keeps the button pressed in and peers at the blue-grey night scene of the pavement and the section of the road covered by the cameras at the gate. The dog’s head, abnormally large, stares back at him. There’s something about the hairiness of the dog hairs and the oddly impassive gaze of the dark pin-hole eyes that doesn’t seem quite right. And where’s the rest of the dog-creature’s body? He knows who it is even before the deliberately-gruffened voice comes over the intercom.  ‘Matt,’ says the dog-muzzle, ‘it’s me. Please open up.’  Mattheus Duiker, the only son of Benjamin Duiker, the former owner of Duiker’s Motors, opens the gate of their Cape Town mansion to his lover, Jack. Disguised as a wolf, Jack invades the intimate darkness in which Matt is waiting for his father to die and for his own life to take off. Shiny-eyed at the prospect, the two young men sneak past the study where the old blind man, dwelling on melancholy attachments and sombre suspicions, sits listening for the footfall of death.

GoodReads

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Verity M

Writer. Love Reading, Photography, & Life Design. I'm all about Curiosity & Creativity.

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