Three books by Eben Venter acquired by Penguin Random House
Penguin Random House will be publishing Eben Venter’s forthcoming three books.
Venter, whose highly regarded novels include My Beautiful Death, Trencherman and Wolf, Wolf, and whose work can be read in Afrikaans, Dutch and German, will lead with Green as the Sky Is Blue in 2018, the English original of his latest novel published in Afrikaans, Groen soos die hemel daarbo. A new novel published in both Afrikaans and English will follow.
Green as the Sky Is Blue is an unflinching exploration of modern sexuality, intimacy and identity, and tells the story of Simon, a writer, pleasure-seeker and man of the world. From Bali to Melbourne, Tokyo to Cape Town, he seeks out sexual encounters as memories well up of his youth in the Eastern Cape. Slowly he starts to connect the fragments of his life with the help and insights of his psychologist, Dr Spiteri.
Venter says of the book: ‘I wrote the novel in English first. It was the first time ever I attempted writing in English. It worked quite well … difficult in the beginning, but after a while I got the hang of it. English has such a vast vocabulary; I felt that I could get more distance from the sex scenes, because they weren’t in my mother tongue.’
Fourie Botha, publisher of South African fiction at Penguin Random House, says: ‘A great honour to welcome one of my literary heroes to Penguin Random House and I look forward to working with Eben on these three books over the next few years.’
The publishing deal was brokered by Venter’s London agent, Louise Greenberg of Louise Greenberg Books.