GREEN LION by Henrietta Rose-Innes is published in the UK today by Aardvark Bureau, who published her prize-winning NINEVEH last year. This masterful novel, published in South Africa by Umuzi and in France by Editions Zoe, has already drawn much praise and received a 5-star review from Lara Feigel in the Telegraph this weekend. Patrick Flanery described it as ‘poignant and unsentimental, an urgent story of quiet, lurking terror’, while Ivan Vladislavić says that ‘in GREEN LION Henrietta Rose-Innes has written another extraordinary novel, lyrical, deftly plotted, and as full of life as the Ark.’
When a lion at a breeding park mauls an old school friend, Con steps in as the keeper of Sekhmet, the last remaining Cape black-maned lioness in the world. As he grows steadily more bonded to his enigmatic charge, a cult of animal lovers with obscure alchemical aims seeks to claim the lioness as their own. When she escapes, Sekhmet engulfs the city’s imagination, stirring up rumours of terror and magic and in Con’s quest to track her down, he must enter the wilderness of a cordoned-off Table Mountain – and his own dark history.
On today’s publication day readers can also catch Henrietta at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. She will be talking about GREEN LION at 20:30 with author Cynan Jones at the Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre and will also take part in Amnesty International’s Imprisoned Writers series from 17:30-18:15, where readings will highlight the dangers of being a journalist on the front line. For tickets find the link here. At 18:30 on Tuesday 22 August Henrietta will be speaking at Golden Hare Books in Edinburgh. For more information see here. For London readers Belgravia Books will launch GREEN LION on 5 September.
More praise for GREEN LION:
'Beautifully written, with prose that is mixed with poetry and power GREEN LION has sent me off looking for more work by Henrietta Rose-Innes.' – Paul McVeigh
'What’s being explored, and it’s a theme that feels oddly neglected in contemporary fiction, is the relationship between humans and animals and with nature more generally…[Henrietta uses these lions as] a lens in which to examine her country’s history as a troubled moment… In Rose Innes’s hands, the beast becomes less a political symbol than a personal one… This is a novel that is unafraid of symbolism but manages not to seem heavy handed… If there is an inner Lion in us all, as Rose Innes seems to suggest, her prose weaving between muscular and lyrical, is well equipped to capture what this might feel like… The question for [Rose-Innes’] characters is how to live without repressing its roar or succumbing to it fully.’ — Lara Feigel, The Telegraph, 5 star review
‘So many moments of glorious observations and beautifully rendered prose …GREEN LION is one of my favourite books of the year so far, and a journey I will certainly be taking again. On top of that, Henrietta Rose-Innes is a glorious writer who manages to write about mankind and the natural world, without taking sides.’ — Paul Dawson
‘Rose-Inne s reveals an unflinching embrace of the messiness of human and animal life, and their troubled interactions … the depth of Rose-Innes' characterisation makes GREEN LION a satisfying read.’ – The Book Bag
‘In GREEN LION Henrietta Rose-Innes has written another extraordinary novel, lyrical, deftly plotted, and as full of life as the Ark. In the Cape Town of her imagination, a place both utterly strange and eerily familiar, wildness is always pressing up against the fence. The ‘animal’, she suggests, is not just out there but in here, shaping what we do and say, embedded in language itself like a stubborn gene.’ – Ivan Vladislavić
Praise for Henrietta Rose-Innes
'Rose-Innes is a writer almost in the Virginia Woolf mould – lateral of mind and poetic in her style of narration.' – Leon de Kock, Sunday Time
‘Henrietta Rose-Innes is a master of the beautifully thought-out metaphor. Her prose is elegant and liquid.’ – Cape Times
About Henrietta Rose-Innes
Henrietta is the author of four novels and one book of short stories. She was winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing 2008 (for which she was shortlisted in 2007), the PEN Short Story Prize 2007, and awarded the Runner-Up prize for her short story 'Sanctuary' at the BBC International Short Story Awards 2012. Her novel, NINEVEH, was shortlisted for The Sunday Times Fiction Prize (South Africa), the M-Net Prize 2012 and won the Francois Sommer Literary Prize.
Find out more about Henrietta Rose-Innes on her website.
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