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.@ShortStoryAFR has announced the longlist of 18 stories that will appear in Terra Incognita!

Charlie Human interviews Lauren Beukes

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Welcome to Cocktail Hour on The Good Book Appreciation Society. We have a special treat this evening. For the next hour, author Charlie Human will be grilling Lauren Beukes on her international smash hit, the newly launched Broken Monsters. Lauren will be posting under the Ann Author account. Charlie will open up for questions at about 8:15. Over to you Charlie…

‪Charlie Human Welcome Lorraine Beukes, author of Zoolander and The Shining, and here to talk to us today about her latest novel, Monsters Inc. Lorraine are you there?

Lauren Beukes I am here, Mr Human. or should I call you Mr Inhuman?

‪Charlie Human So I thought this was an appropriate quote from Broken Monsters to start off with. Are you ready to dance, monkey?

Lauren Beukes Always. Can we do a robot apocalypse dance-off?

‪Charlie Human Let’s hope that quote goes as far as Zoo City’s “Fashion is only different skins for different flavours of you.”

Lauren Beukes Where did you find that quote or did you make it yourself?
 Stalking Pinterest again? I’m still bummed about the fashion flavours quote.

‪Charlie Human I found it on a little thing I like to call THE INTERNET

Lauren Beukes Ah yes, I am familiar with The Internet. It is one of my favourite things.
 For research.
 Not procrastination

‪Charlie Human With any luck Facebook will use the Broken Monsters quote as part of their official marketing

Actually I think the full quote is better: “Shakespeare would have it wrong these days. It’s not the world that’s the stage – it’s social media, where you’re trying to put on a show. The rest of your life is rehearsals, prepping in the wings to be fabulous online.”

Lauren Beukes That would be awesome marketing. God, if I could leverage Facebook

‪Charlie Human OK, so give us the blurb for Broken Monsters the way you see it. What does this story mean to you?

Lauren Beukes Oh you bastard.Ann Author That’s a horrible one. It’s a book about being seen. Or not. About how we’re all broken inside (a little) and it’s how you live with it. And that even the monsters don’t work – they’re broken, non-functioning, they don’t exist, because the only monsters are us and our monstrous ambitions and desires and failings.

Holy existential crisis on a Sunday night, Batman.

‪Charlie Human You’ve talked a bit in the past about the internet as a kind of collective unconscious for the planet, a database of desire. This connects to dreams in Broken Monsters, particularly The American Dream. Why was this something you wanted to explore?


Lauren Beukes Oh, but it’s also a book about strange hybrid bodies turning up in Detroit, the detective trying to solve the case, her daughter getting into catfishing online, a journalist trying to break a big story (and save his career), a man on the street trying to hold his family together and a rather tortured artist.

‪Charlie Human So, you’re pretty weird and messed up. Sorry, that was more a comment than a question.

Lauren Beukes Yeah, there’s a great quote in the movie Paprika, which I only know from the image I found on Tumblr. But yeah, the collective unconscious, desire, fear, loathing, different guises of the self.

How we express ourselves online. I collected a lot of images of obfuscated faces on my tumblr.


And yeah, pretty weird and messed up would cover it.

‪Charlie Human Your publishers did this cool personality test that analyses your tweets to see what kind of serial killer you are: ‪ So, what kind of serial killer are you?

Lauren Beukes Psychopath!
 Quelle surprise.
But not a Broken Monster. I don’t think I’m antisocial enough. Although Joey Hifi, the SA cover designer did tell me “It’s interesting you wrote a book about someone possessed by a creative urge that takes them to dark places”

‪Charlie Human Yeah I was interested in the fact that they used those Dark Triad character traits as a way of analysing tweets.

Lauren Beukes It was very cool that HarperCollins put the test together. It’s actually devised by Jonno Haim. Intertextual.

There’s a Dark Triad? Is that you, me and Sarah Lotz?

‪Charlie Human Yes! So the three Dark Triad traits are narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. You’re psychopathy….

Sarah kinda has to be Machiavellianism, right?

Lauren Beukes Which would make you Narcissim

‪Charlie Human *looks in mirror* Yes, Narcissim suits me fine, just fine

Lauren Beukes watch it, I’ll turn this Interview around and start asking you about Kill Baxter (Your new book, out at the beginning of the month in the UK. I saw your agent in London. He says hi)

‪Charlie Human People taxidermy with meat glue is quite extreme, even for a psychopath. Where the hell did that come from?

Lauren Beukes Hahaha. As someone pointed out to me on Twitter: “So, you basically killed Mr Tumnus”. (from Narnia)
 Which is a very insightful reading actually.

I read about meatglue on the Internet, it proved irresistible.
 But I interviewed leading transglutinimase expert and chef Wiley Dufresne about the intricacies of meat glue.
 And how to use it. I did take some artistic license.
 Because in reality, there’s not enough MEAT to use meat glue if you sever someone at the waist.
 So don’t try this at home.

Although if you come to the Detroit launch of Broken Monsters on 19 September, Mickey Alice Kwapis, the taxidermist I interviewed for the novel, is planning to do a taxidermy workshop. No meatglue though.

‪Charlie Human You heard it here first: Sticking a corpse together with meatglue is not a practical way to display your victims

Lauren Beukes She really did describe taxidermy like “peeling a really gross orange” and the kangaroo story in the novel really happened to her.

‪Charlie Human That was pretty gross. Why can’t you write about something more wholesome like zombie strip clubs?

Lauren Beukes I know, I know. I’m not depraved enough to go there, I think. Not like YOU.

‪Charlie Human So next actual question: Your dialogue has always been annoyingly good but it’s really, really great in Broken Monsters. Give us a little dialogue tutorial. How do you get the voices right?

To read the rest of this interview join The Good Book Appreciation society by friending Bea Reader on Facebook, or emailing

Massive, huge, obscene thanks to ‪Charlie Human‬ for running this mad, wild, dark, funny interview. Hopefully he’s keeping count of all the Bonus Points Lauren won. Charlie’s latest novel, Apocalypse Now Now, has been very highly acclaimed, and you can check it out here.


And of course major thanks to Lauren for adding the GBAS as a stop on her world tour. Broken Monsters has had high praise from around the world, including huge support from Steven King. Click here to pick up your own copy:

Broken Monsters

150 Stories: Nuwe verhale en ou gunstelinge deur Nataniël

150 Stories’n Bundel met van Nataniël se beste verhale verskyn eersdaags by Human en Rousseau – 150 Stories:

’n Versameling van die bekende en gewilde Nataniël se verhoogverhale is die ideale Kersgeskenk. Nataniël is een van Suid-Afrika se meester-storievertellers op die verhoog. Sy unieke stem en styl, sy spitsvondige en skerpsinnige humor, sy deernis vir die verskoppelinge en verstotelinge, dit alles maak hom ’n belangrike stem in ons kultuur en samelewing.

Die versameling sluit in byna al sy verhale (Afrikaans én Engels) uit ouer bundels wat reeds deur die jare uit druk geraak het (Oopmond, Rubber, Maria Maria, Tuesday, Kaalkop 2, When I was), sowel as 10 nuwe stories.

Oor die outeur

Nataniël is op Grahamstad gebore. Hy het skool gegaan aan die Laerskool Riebeeck-Kasteel en Hoërskool De Kuilen in Kuilsrivier. Na skool studeer hy musiek aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch. Hy het aanvanklik bekendheid verwerf as kabaretster en verhoogkunstenaar met, maar sedert die 1990’s is hy ook bekend as skrywer en koskenner.

Sy publikasies sluit in Dancing with John (1992), Rubber (1996), Tuesday (2001), Food from the White House (2002), Kaalkop (2004) en When I was (2008). Hy skryf ook al vir ’n hele paar jaar sy Kaalkop-rubriek vir Sarie.


Uittreksel: "Die pienk doek" uit Verdriet se moses deur Helm Jooste

Verdriet se mosesMet Verdriet se moses neem Helm Jooste sy lesers op ʼn nostalgiese reis na daardie Suidwes: ’n Plek waar vrinne mekaar help om verdriet af te skud, waar elke kuier eers met ‘n laaste kleine Kleine afgerond moet word, en jeugdige joligheid ’n mens jare later nog kan laat skater.

Hierdie keur verhale oor die ou Suidwes en sy sout-van-die-aarde-karakters word aangevul deur Fred Mouton se unieke illustrasies.

Hieronder volg een van die stories uit hierdie bundel, getiteld “Die pienk doek”:

* * * * * * *

Die pienk doek

Dis goed veertig jaar gelede.

Ons woon nog op Otjiwarongo. Dis vakansie en die kinders is by die huis. Jan is ’n mannetjie van neëntien en Irene ’n meisiekind van om en by vyftien. Sy’s nog by ons op die dorp in die skool, maar hy’s ’n eerstejaar op Stellenbosch en verskriklik ingestel op wat korrek is. Sy ma se rokke is glo oudmodies en my Afrikaans geradbraak.

Een naweek ry ek en Jan en sy ma plaas toe. Ek boer toe nog op Aroma en is besig om daar te boor vir vars water. Irene kuier by ’n maatjie.

Ons ry met ’n bakkie. Toe ons op die plaas aankom en net ná ons koffie gedrink het, sê ek vir Jan: “Kom ons gaan kyk hoe vorder die boordery.”
“Ek gaan saam,” sê sy ma.
Ek bestuur. Ons sit al drie voor in die bakkie. Ek ry stadig al op die boor- en enkele motorspore.

Die polgras staan geil en die bos is plek-plek dig. Ek ry stadig en Jan hou die 30.06 gereed ingeval ’n koedoe ons dalk verras.

“Julle het nog nie die boorman gesien nie, nè?” vra ek.
Nee, hulle het nie.
“Wel, hy’s die grootste, vetste stuk mensvleis wat ek nog ooit teëgekom het.”
“Hoe kan hy dan die boor hanteer?” vra Joey.
“Hy’s glo ’n uitstekende boorman en volgens wat Jan de Klerk vertel, ook baie, baie vinnig op sy voete. Met die boeredag onlangs het hy die jongmanne glo disnis gehardloop,” vertel ek
verder. “In stede van te sê ‘baie, baie vinnig op sy voete’ kan Pa Verdriet gerus die woord ‘blitsig’ gebruik. Hy’s blitsig op sy voete,” help Jan my reg.
Ek laat hom maar begaan.

Ons is later digby die boor. Ek kan sy egalige gestamp duidelik hoor. Swarthaak en rosyntjie belemmer ons uitsig. Die enkele groot basterkamele en appelblaar ook.

Skielik roep Joey opgewonde uit: “Watse pienk lap hang daar onderaan daardie boom?” en sy wys na ’n appelblaar so honderd tree regs voor ons.
“Dis g’n pienk lap nie, Ma!” kom dit hewig ontsteld van Jan.
“Maak toe jou oë! Dis ’n kaal, vet man wat daar sit! Daar hang sy overall aan die boom langs hom!”
Dis net toe dat “die pienk lap” skielik onraad merk en opvlieg, sy overall gryp en koers kies … In blote verwarring eers reg op ons af, en toe hy die motor gewaar, soos blits, reg weg van ons af, in volle vaart oor pol en bos. Jy moes hom sien! ’n Kaal, voortvlieënde, pienk kolos … soos ’n oerdier die digte bosse in.

Ek smyt amper die bakkie om soos ek lag. Maar Jan is die duiwel in vir sy ma:
“Dis oor jy ook altyd wil saamry met ons mans! Nes ’n wiel draai, wil jy ry. Sien jy nou wat gebeur met al jou saamryery!”

En sommer vir my ook: “Dis glad nie snaaks nie, Pa! Kom ons ry huis toe! Ek skaam nog vandag my oë uit my kop uit vir julle!”


Gareth Crocker Interviews Casey B Dolan

all three

Welcome to an excerpt of Cocktail Hour at The Good Book Appreciation Society where Gareth Crocker grilled Casey B Dolan on her fictional debut, When the Bough Breaks. Gareth will open up to the floor for any questions at about 8:15. Over to you Gareth…

‪Casey B Dolan ‪Gareth Crocker yoohooo…over here!!!!

‪Gareth Crocker Yes, yes. I’m right here. You’re so pushy, Dolan

‪Casey B Dolan correct

‪Gareth Crocker So Casey, firstly, I assume you look lovely this evening? You were looking particularly ravishing this afternoon when I was staring at you through your kitchen window. You probably didn’t see me given that I was wearing my trusty lamp post disguise?

‪Casey B Dolan Was that you that the dog took a whizz on?

‪Casey B Dolan And I am in my pink PJ’s with a hot water bottle awaiting your barrage of interesting rhetoric

‪Gareth Crocker So, for those who may have been living in a cave for the past decade or so, a quick recap: model, radio personality, voice over artist, TV star, film star, supermom, animal activist and humanitarian. On the surface, and for those who might not have read your autobiography, An Appetite for Peas, it seems as if one success has naturally led to another. But that’s not quite true, is it? It seems to me that you’ve had to fight very hard to get where you are today. Yes?

‪Casey B Dolan Well, yes…I am not sure fight is quite the word, I have kept my head above water and kept swimming

‪Gareth Crocker Having read your magnificent (and I mean that) autobiography, An Appetite for Peas, I think I’m right. You’re the sort of person who really goes after what you want. Your tenacity is a key part of your make-up, yes?

‪Casey B Dolan I think any career in the creative arts takes a lot of perseverance to be able to make any headway and then a rather thick hide to take the plethora of whippings dolled out on a far too regular basis. Yes. Tenacious is definitely apt. Along with a few other choice words that are not as flattering hehehe

Gareth Crocker Please, Casey, let’s keep this conversation professional. All this talk about whipping is getting me a little hot under the collar. But seriously, you’re clearly a tremendously focused person. Which is great, given that the book world is known for dishing out its fair share of beat downs. Did I mention that my first novel was rejected like 500 times?

‪Casey B Dolan Really??! Was that Finding Jack??? But it was met with critical acclaim…wow…

‪Gareth Crocker …and enough about me. So, Casey, in your writing you have an extraordinary gift for dialogue. Some of the best, I’ve ever read. If your dialogue had a fight with my dialogue it would pull its hair, punch it in the stomach and send it home to cry. Where does this ability come from?

Casey B Dolan I think the aspect of my writing that may be slightly unique is perhaps dialogue only because I have waded through 20 years of zipping up characters getting in their heads enough to convincingly portray them. i don’t necessarily just write a scene I see in my head, I actually “play” the role of the character I am writing…it comes a lot easier to me than writing extensive narrative and imagery. So I suppose at some point I may stretch myself but for now I so love writing scenes where the dialogue really portrays everything I haven’t described (does that make sense?)

Gareth Crocker Yes, of course it makes sense. It now also explains why, Mondays to Fridays, you run around your bedroom gesticulating as though your hair is on fire. Always wondered about that. Anyway, I digress. Tell me a little about your process. Do you plot your novels up front? Or do you simply kick off with an interesting premise and allow the story to take its natural course?

To read the rest of this interview, and more, join The Good Book Appreciation Society, by friending Bea Reader on Facebook, or email

Kom luister na Philip de Vos tydens vanjaar se De Malle BoekBazaar in Philadelphia

Kop op \'n blokDit is weer tyd vir die jaarlikse De Malle Boekbazaar op Philiadelphia! Die geleentheid vind op Vrouedag, 9 Augustus, by De Malle Meul plaas.

Philip de Vos sal om 13:30 in De Malle Meul Kapel oor sy doen en late gesels. Kaartjies kos R60.

Kom geniet die dag in hierdie gesellige plattelandse dorpie!


The Sunday Times Bestseller List for July 2014

The Sunday Times has started a monthly bestseller list, identifying the most popular books in South Africa.

There are a gratifying number of South African books on the non-fiction list, which is topped by Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange, followed, some would say inevitably, by The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Sally-Ann Creed, David Grier and Jonno Proudfoot.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg head up the fiction list, with the only local link being the lead character in The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden, Nombeko, who was born in Soweto.

The information for the list comes from SAPnet/Nielsen, bookseller data and publisher data.

View the list:

Book details

The Fault in Our Stars

The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules

The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden


I am Pilgrim

Good Morning, Mr Mandela

Real Meal Revolution

Call It Like It Is


Behind Palace Walls