New editions of Nthikeng Mohlele’s novels Small Things and Rusty Bell announced
New editions of Nthikeng Mohlele’s novels Small Things and Rusty Bell will be out from Jacana Media in May!
Mohlele was partly raised in Limpopo and Tembisa Township, and attended Wits University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Art, Publishing Studies and African Literature. He is the author of four critically acclaimed novels: The Scent of Bliss (2008), Small Things (2013), Rusty Bell (2014), Pleasure (2016) and Michael K (2018).
Pleasure won the 2016 University of Johannesburg Main Prize as well as the 2017 K Sello Duiker Memorial Prize. It was also longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award.
This is the story of a dreamer, an average man, singled out by fate for an uncertain life. Jailed for 18 years under apartheid for unspecified sins, he emerges into a world that has no place for him. His fluctuating fortunes land him on the predictable, bitter-winter streets of Johannesburg, where ‘harmlessness’ is an ‘unfortunate trait’ but tempestuous skylines offer space to breathe.
A trumpet and an indigent dog are his accomplices in survival. But it is his obsessive love for the erratic, hard-hearted Desiree that remains the one constant in his life and impels his search for the elusive meaning of existence.
Through his protagonist, the trumpet-playing philosopher poet, Nthikeng Mohlele weaves his unique magic with words, posing powerful questions in his inimitably individualistic and evocative style.
‘Behind this story of love, music and the eternal quest, lies an artistic sensibility as generous as it is complex. The prose is rich in texture, the final effect melancholy and comic in equal proportions.’ – JM Coetzee
Michael is a respected and haunted South African corporate lawyer – the narrator of this sweeping, intimate and intricate exploration of the plurality and mystery of things: love, grief, fate, lust – but most of all life.
Mohlele once again delves into head-cracking and bruising questions, in this coming-out-of-and-against-age story; told with humour, beauty and calculated rage. Brimming with delicacy and authorial thunder, this part campus novel, part philosophical epistle, is one man’s rebellion against ‘life as we know it’. Rusty Bell is an appallingly wise examination of the perils of being human – by a writer who knows the beauty and savagery of words.
‘An intimate and effortless philosophical work that establishes Nthikeng Mohlele as, undoubtedly, one of our generation’s finest novelists.’ – Eusebius McKaiser