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Zukiswa Wanner Shares the Six Books that Have Shaped Her as a Writer

Zukiswa Wanner, author of Men of the South, has shared the six books that shaped her as a writer with O Magazine. Wanner talks about how her parents would buy her books instead of dolls when she was little, much to her irritation. However, this is what led her to becoming a writer, so she says she has them to thank for her career path.

Men of the SouthThe MadamsBehind Every Successful ManHalf of a Yellow Sun Harvest of Thorns

The six books she chose are ones that she says have helped to develop her ideals. The books include A Bridge in Time by Asenath Bole Odaga, Animal Farm and 1984 by George Orwell, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and her favourite Harvest of Thorns by Shimmer Chinodya.

When I was growing up, my parents annoyed me. While my cousin and playmate, Alice, got Barbie and all her latest accessories (including Ken) for birthdays and at Christmas, I was inevitably and invariably given a book. As an only child, I enjoyed escaping through reading, but I still could have used a Barbie of my own. So, as soon as I’d finished reading, I’d suggest to my mother that we visit Aunt Anne, Uncle Kristian and Alice at their farm, so I, too, could get my fill of brushing Barbie’s flowing locks or, if Alice was not in a particularly generous mood, Cindy’s. Yet without this push towards books and the literary world, I don’t think I would have become a writer. So, despite my irritation at the time, I actually have my parents to thank for my writing (and when writing doesn’t pay, for my being broke!)

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Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://kelwynsole.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Kelwyn Sole</a>
    Kelwyn Sole
    December 3rd, 2012 @11:31 #
     
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    It's nice to see Harvest of Thorns mentioned. Imo Zimbabwean fiction in the 1980s/1990s made SA fiction look a little sad - what with Shimmer, Stanley Nyamfukudza, Alex Kanengoni, Yvonne Vera, Dambudzo Marechera, Chenjerai Hove, Charles Mungoshi, Tsitsi Dangarembga etc. .... some top class novels and short stories there.

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