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Carrot! Fred Khumalo on After Tears

After TearsIt seems that everywhere you turn in the world of SA Lit these days, you find Fred Khumalo.

There he is, on Victor Dlamini’s podcast; on the Exclusive Books List; and of course in the Sunday Times, picking his reads of the week. He’s a many-tentacled literary beast. Someone should draw it.

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.

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Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Matome</a>
    November 9th, 2007 @15:09 #

    Nic Mohlongo is one of the brightest minds South Africa has ever produced in the 20'th Century. Thanks to his good talent. I hope that Ben will agree with me he is good writer and his books are relevant to the current issues!


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