Kopano Matlwa, Zinzi Clemmons and Fiona Melrose reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement

Image: Clemmons, Matlwa, Melrose

Johannesburg was the focus in the Times Literary Supplement this month, with a review of the new books by Kopano Matlwa, Zinzi Clemmons and Fiona Melrose.

The piece focuses on Kopano Matlwa’s Period Pain (titled Evening Primrose in the United Kingdom), Zinzi Clemmons’s What We Lose and Fiona Melrose’s Johannesburg.

In an excerpt, shared by Pontas Literary & Film Agency on Facebook, Andrew van der Vlies writes:

Kopano Matlwa’s brave and lyrical Evening Primrose, by contrast, offers a first-person narrative with a very clear occasion of narration, using the ever-present threat of its protagonist’s psychic disintegration to stunning effect. Matlwa’s third novel is a welcome return to the form of her celebrated debut, Coconut (2007), with whose memorable protagonists Evening Primrose’s, Masechaba shares much. Masechaba is a trainee doctor faced with multiple stresses, not least exhaustion in the face of a strained health service that occasions awful ethical dilemmas. A representative young black woman of the born-free (post-1994) generation, she confesses her deepest fears and identity-shattering doubts in an account for a therapist after a devastating assault. The result is an immediacy that is only superficially straightforward: there is a level of self-reflexiveness that eschews gratuitous collage, and while it is clear that Matlwa draws on her own experience (she too is a medical doctor by training), the mask of fiction does not slip.

“Kopano Matlwa's brave and lyrical Evening Primrose, by contrast, offers a first-person narrative with a very clear…

Posted by Pontas Literary & Film Agency on Monday, December 11, 2017

Categories Fiction International South Africa

Tags Fiona Melrose Jacana Media Johannesburg Kopano Matlwa Period Pain Times Literary Supplement What We Lose Zinzi Clemmons

2 Votes

You must log in to post a comment