Niq Mhlongo launches Paradise in Gaza at Goethe Namibia's Virtually Yours.

Niq Mhlongo’s “Paradise In Gaza” launches at Goethe Namibia’s Virtually Yours.

Niq Mhlongo’s newest novel Paradise In Gaza launched at the new Goethe Namibia series Virtually Yours on October 10, 2020. He was moderated by author and publisher Zukiswa Wanner.

Virtually Yours is a new series that brings you to the centre of contemporary African literature with discussions between leading African authors curated by Zukiswa Wanner and hosted by Goethe Namibia.

The first in the series of virtual gatherings was South African award-winning author Niq Mhlongo. Mhlongo is the author of the novels Dog Eat Dog (2004), After Tears (2007), and Way Back Home (our review) (2015) and the short story collections Affluenza (2016) and Soweto Under The Apricot Tree (2018). He recently edited the Jonathan Ball published essay collection Black Tax: Burden or Ubuntu? (2019)

In 2020, he is set to give us two new entries to the African literary canon with his newest novel Paradise in Gaza, and Johannesburg Noir an anthology he has edited. The first of these, Paradise in Gaza published by Kwela Books, is a title that is set to be published on October 20 with the following blurb;

When Mpisi Mpisani travels to the rural place of his birth, Gaza Village, for the burial of his mother and a visit to his first wife, he is highly aware that he should hurry back to Johannesburg. His second wife, waiting jealously in Soweto, will give birth any day now. Under apartheid law he might even be refused the right to return to the city if he stays away too long and loses his job. Giyani, his eight year old son, accompanies him.

But when Giyani disappears without a trace, Mpisi stays to search for him. Wracked with worry, he tries to ignore the villagers who blame magical sources for the boy’s disappearance. Meanwhile, Mpisi’s city wife, Ntombazi, bears a boy with a birthmark that seems to be a sign . . .

The thread of mystery runs throughout Paradise in Gaza, weaved into an exploration of rural and city life at a time when movement between these spheres was highly controlled. Another exceptional novel by master storyteller Niq Mhlongo.

Goethe Namibia got a world exclusive as they hosted the first official reading of this book at their new series. The author who was streaming in from Germany from his DAAD fellowship, with moderation from Wanner, spoke about the challenges and motivations of writing this book and the writing life in general. It was an enjoyable discussion we were watching between two of the continent’s leading writers.

The session ended with five books being handed out in a draw to those who had streamed in.

Series curator Zukiswa Wanner
Series curator Zukiswa Wanner
Goethe Namibia's Detlef Pfeiffer
Goethe Namibia’s Detlef Pfeiffer

You can read an excerpt from the new book at our friends at the Johannesburg Review of Books Here.

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