One recent pick was Niq Mhlongo’s new novel, After Tears, which Khumalo singled out for unusually lengthy treatment in his Times column. If a many-tentacled beast could toss carrots, I reckon Mhlongo would find about eight at his feet. (Which makes Khumalo an octopus?)
It’s quite a good review, from one of our most honourable men of letters; check it out:
It’s no wonder the New York Times called Niq Mhlongo one of our most irreverent and high-spirited new voices
Uncle Nyawana is a fast-talking, whisky- swilling hustler from Chiawelo, Soweto, who has fallen on hard times. Not only is he unemployed, he is divorced and missing a leg, thanks to his rough life as a young man.
Now in his 40s, selling all things green — including vegetables and dagga — he dreams of a day when he will, with the help of his nephew Bafana, sue Transnet for the loss of his leg.
Some years ago , in his heyday as a pickpocket , Uncle Nyawana tried to mug a woman inside a moving train. Typical of the staffriding style of those days, after grabbing the woman’s “zak” (money to you), he jumped out of the train in his flamboyant manner to impress those watching. Alas, he missed a step, and landed under the moving train. Chop, leg gone.
- After Tears by Niq Mhlongo
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