Ali Land, the author of Good Me Bad Me – ‘one of the most extraordinary, controversial and explosive literary debuts of 2017’ – is in South Africa.
Good Me Bad Me is Land’s debut novel, and has already been translated into over 20 languages.
Click on the link above for more about the book!
Land will be at a number of events around Cape Town, including the Open Book Festival.
What is your favourite novel and why?
If I had to pick JUST one it would be The Silence of the Lambs. The first book to truly terrify, yet thrill, me. Clarice Starling is one of my heroes and the relationship between her and Lecter and the conversations they have is pure genius. In Lecter, Harris creates a character hair-raisingly dangerous, yet one that’s almost impossible not to admire for his twisted, intellectual finesse. And then there’s Buffalo Bill, who says the line – ‘It rubs the lotion on its skin. It does this whenever it is told.’ The tension never lets up, and even though I fear for Clarice’s safety and sanity, and perhaps even my own while reading it, I can’t help but read on. It’s sheer brilliance.
Which authors do you most admire?
My writing is very psychological in its nature so I admire authors who utilize the physical landscape to mirror emotional states in their characters. Emily Brontë does this so beautifully in Wuthering Heights as does Hannah Kent in Burial Rites. I admire Shirley Jackson for writing with perfect restraint and slowly turning the screws. And Roald Dahl and Nabokov for their wordplay and literary allusions – their love of alchemising language is so evident and makes reading their work so joyful.
What is the last book you read and loved?
Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg. A gothic and chilling tale that thrusts you into the heart of a Utopian commune gone wrong. I love that Wasserberg uses a child narrator and although she doesn’t shy away from complex and disturbing issues, she handles them with sensitivity. I found her use of language on one hand, to be playful, naming the children Green, Blue, Pet and Egg, whilst also sophisticated and layered when describing the environment and emotional responses. A seriously accomplished debut.