When we ask Margie Orford where she’s been lately, she laughs ruefully and says, “I feel like the Johnny Cash song—I've been everywhere.” Far from an understatement, this energetic author, activist and PEN Vice President has spent the last few months in a whirlwind of events across the world.
In February, she visited Ethiopia as the South African PEN’s executive Vice President. At Ethiopian PEN’s Conference on Freedom of Expression, she spoke on how to cultivate a human rights culture in a post-conflict society. A vocal commentator on issues of violence against women and the challenges of post-apartheid South Africa, her article on the Oscar Pistorius case has been featured in the Guardian and the New York Times and widely quoted.
She went on to spend March on tour in Norway, publicising the Norwegian translation of the first title in her Clare Hart crime series Daddy’s Girl, and appeared on primetime television with Belinda Bauer. See more on Margie and other female crime writers in Norway here. In an interview with Asbjørn Slettemark, she talks about South Africa’s complex society, the Clare Hart series and her favourite South African crime novels and films.
Moving from Norway to a PEN event in Glasgow in April, she took part on a panel discussing freedom of speech and modern censorship with Anne Enright. She also met with her UK and international publishers in London during the 2014 London Book Fair.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Harper Witness Impulse have released Margie’s first US publication, LIKE CLOCKWORK, and other Clare Hart titles will follow in quick succession this year. She has recently been interviewed on NPR about the Pistorius trial – listen to a podcast here. Margie will be back in the UK in August to appear at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
Margie Orford, who has been described as 'the Queen of South African Crime Fiction', was born in London and grew up in Namibia, the setting for BLOOD ROSE which is also optioned for film. A Fulbright Scholar, she was educated in South Africa and the United States. She is Executive Vice-President of South African PEN, the patron of Rape Crisis and of the children's book charity, the Little Hands Trust. She lives in Cape Town.
Praise for Margie Orford and WATER MUSIC:
‘Margie Orford writes with great human insight, at times with poetic beauty, and always the ever-present deep, dark undertow of menace.’ – Peter James
'Orford plots so brilliantly that to stop reading is as harrowing as to carry on.' – Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph
‘Clare Hart is back, and she returns in style… the tension racks up, and up, and up… WATER MUSIC should see Orford win many, many more fans, and she’s not exactly short of them already. Read it.’ – The Big Issue
‘I loved the twists and turns of this book and the truly unknowable nature of the next chapter.’ – Lizzi Thomasson,The Bookseller
‘Margie Orford's WATER MUSIC is fascinated with the way cultural and political pressures affect criminal behaviour... Orford has a rare ability to get under the skin of the genre's conventions.’—Irish Times
‘Another in this excellent South African series.’ –Literary Review