Ivan Vladislavić’s THE FOLLY is published in the US today by Archipelago. The novella was originally published twenty years ago, heralding the arrival of a unique and surprising voice. It was read then as an evocative allegory on the rise and fall of apartheid, but continues to strike new chords, its haunting characters speaking strange truths to our world. Umuzi published in South Africa and And Other Stories publish in the UK in November.
Mr and Mrs Malgas are going quietly about their lives when an eccentric squatter named Nieuwenhuizen arrives on the vacant plot next door, with a scheme to build an elaborate mansion. Slowly but surely the stranger's charm and persuasive language draws Malgas into "the plan". Grimly humorous and playfully serious, Ivan Vladislavić’s classic first novel is a comic and philosophical masterpiece.
On first publication THE FOLLY was hailed by André Brink as being ‘In the tradition of Elias Canetti, a tour de force of the imagination’ and its new edition has drawn much pre-publication praise:
‘THE FOLLY is mysterious, lyrical and wickedly funny — a masterful novel about loving and fearing your neighbor. Ivan Vladislavić is one of the most significant writers working in English today. Everyone should read him.’ — Katie Kitamura
‘The rise and fall of ‘the plan’ at the heart of this potent short novel is as brilliant as it is unsettling. Vladislavić writes with spring-loaded precision about universal dreams and local desolation. A fable for the ages, a parable for our time.’ — Laird Hunt
‘Vladislavić’s cryptic, haunting tale echoes Jorge Luis Borges and David Lynch, drawing readers into its strange depths.’ — Publishers Weekly
'Memorable work that never underplays the unpleasant societal tensions that lie below the surface. … THE FOLLY plays out like a berserk blend of fairy tales, the plays of Samuel Beckett, and the films of Jacques Tati.’ – Tobias Carroll, Electric Lit
Ivan Vladislavić will be in the US to promote THE FOLLY and to receive his Windham Campbell Prize later this month. At a ceremony at Yale University he will be awarded one of this year’s nine $150,000 prizes for Fiction, alongside writers Teju Cole, Helon Habila, Geoff Dyer and Edmund de Waal, among others.
Ivan Vladislavić is the award-winning, critically-acclaimed author of a prestigious body of literary work. Published in ten international markets, Ivan lives in Johannesburg, where he is a Distinguished Professor in Creative Writing at the University of the Witwatersrand. He has won and been shortlisted for South Africa’s most prestigious prizes. His work is included in the GRANTA BOOK OF THE AFRICAN SHORT STORY and Sylph Editions published A LABOUR OF MOLES in the Cahiers Series. His novel DOUBLE NEGATIVE has just been published in Germany by A1 and Osburg have acquired German rights to THE EXPLODED VIEW.